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As someone who works in a supporting role there are times I find myself in situations where co-workers use my desk as an emotional dumping ground, and place for them to vent and complain.  It can be difficult to listen and not take on other people’s emotions at the same time.

One of the amazing things about working at League is our Mental Health Breaks – provided to employees every other Friday.

I make the most use of my time by going in prepared with specific questions, and come out of my sessions with solutions, strategies and exercises that help me feel better equipped for life.

I find therapy to be a very private and personal thing but I also like to share sometimes when I learn something that I feel is very practical and most people can also use and benefit from.

Last Friday I spoke about my feelings and the struggle I have been facing in terms of listening without taking on other people’s emotions and thoughts at the same time.  I also shared how overwhelming it can be.

The advice I received in my opinion is very logical and practical.

1)  Learn how to check in with myself.  Ask myself: “Do you feel the same way about work?”  “Do you think the same way?” I already know the answer to those two questions – 95% of the time will be an affirmative no.  That will make listening easier, knowing my feelings and thoughts are not the same as others who are being negative.  I can listen and let it go – I do not have to carry it around with me.

2) Arm myself with one off responses that will help to deflect, post pone or avoid negative conversation all together. An example: “I’m just in the middle of something can I come find you in a bit?” Or “I really want to talk, but I need half an hour to finish what i’m working on?” Easy, polite and professional.

3) It’s OK to remind repeat offenders that no one is forcing them stay.  There is lots of opportunity in Toronto and they are free to leave at any time.

All very doable.

How do you manage work stress?  In what ways do you treat yourself to self-care?  I would love to hear more about how you protect yourself in order to put your best self forward in the work place and in life.

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