People have been laid off all around you and you’re having a tough time staying positive. Everyone you talk to is worried about their job, or the job of someone they know, and it feels like you’re treading water while waiting for the other shoe to drop. How do you stay positive?
First, give yourself a break. It’s OK to be unsettled. Remember to B R E A T H E. Then figure out the strategies which will work best for you.
- Limit the amount of time in a day or week that you will feel down or worried. Set a timer or watch the clock and when your time is up, perk up!
- Find a person or a group with whom you can vent or commiserate. Again, it’s important to limit the time you spend in this pit; you don’t want to emotionally drain someone else. Give the other person an opportunity to vent, again with an eye on the clock, so you aren’t emotionally drained. Be sensitive to doing this with work colleagues to prevent managers from viewing you as the ring leader of “Survivors Against Change.”
- Make yourself your priority. Now is the time to ensure you take care of you. Exercise, eat healthier, drink water, get enough sleep, meditate, and spend time with family and friends. If you have a tendency to withdraw when things get tough, determine if it really benefits you (it rarely does). Make the effort to stay engaged, if only with yourself. You don’t have to join a health club at this point or go on a new diet. It’s important to implement healthy steps you can live with which become part of your routine. Self care pays off physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
- Look for ways to help others at work. Brainstorm ways to streamline processes, particularly if you’re now doing more with less. It’s a great time to find out what everyone does with the report that’s distributed each week… is anyone reviewing it or could it be discontinued? Be known as the optimistic person in the office. Avoid standing around in a small group talking quietly; people are nervous enough without wondering what you are talking about.
- Talk to a counselor, spiritual advisor, or use your company’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP). EAPs are confidential and typically no cost for initial visits. Use your benefits.
- Join a Book Club. Take Salsa lessons. You don’t have to spend a lot of money and you may find groups you can join (or start) for no money. Does your library offer a book club? How about the local book store? Learn to play bridge at lunch with someone who already knows how. Keep your mind engaged.
- Volunteer. Someone can benefit from your time and your talent and it may help you put things in perspective. Google your town and “volunteer opportunities” to see what options may be available or check www.volunteermatch.org
- Laugh. Research shows that 10-20 minutes of even fake laughter can have a profound effect on life.
Remember, attitudes are contagious. Make yours positive and worth catching!