Never have I realized how important life and work balance is than this month. After my father passed, I mourned a father and a best friend. Dealing with the loss of a loved one is one of the most challenging things to overcome. However, life does not wait for you to be ready, and it can throw everything on your plate—even when your plate already seems full.
Just when my plate seemed at its fullest, a mistake at work occurred, one that affected one of my largest clients. It was at this time I felt all my worlds colliding at once, and I hit the point of panic—a complete loss of control. What’s the normal reaction? To be angry with the person who made the mistake, to gain a few unnecessary pounds, to stop taking care of yourself, to feel completely out of control of your own life.
How do I regroup? This feeling of rock bottom has to end, and how do I go about it? Business is business, it must be done, and it must be taken care of. So I had to stop myself.
1. Take a Break
Give yourself a break. Literally, take a day off—a mental health day. If you feel like you need to break down, then break down. Allow yourself the time you need to regroup. When we stress, worry, and rush to pick up all the pieces, we often forget the most important part, to breathe. By taking a day to allow this, we can think more clearly on what our next move will be.
2. Make a Plan
And the next move should be to make a plan of action. Create a roadmap of the things that you actually can control. We cannot control the curveballs life throws at us, but when we do take action on what we can control, then we’re doing the best we can. Start a diet plan, an exercise routine, a work agenda—a road map that states a clear plan of action.
3. Just Do It
Remember the Nike slogan, Just Do It? Well, really, just do it. Take that plan and put it to action. And this does not only mean to do what is expected of you, like work load, or bringing your kids to their sport events. Do something different: go on a trip, paint your kitchen a different color, change your hair color. Do something that you can see through from beginning to end. This will give you a feeling of accomplishment. No matter how small the accomplishment may be, it can give you the confidence and energy you need to see through other aspects of your life, the ones that you may be putting off for now.
4. Don’t Make Things Worse
The most essential thing to remember during a time of complete panic or feeling out of control is not to beat yourself up, but not to excuse yourself from your actions and mistakes. Deal with life in realities, there is always a solution. In life, our natural, immediate reaction to a negative event or time in our lives is to dwell on the problem. Don’t make it worse than it is.
5. Surround Yourself with Positivity
And most importantly, surround yourself with people and things that make you happy! Talk to the people around you who care, vent about the situation, and get different perspectives. One of the best things about loved ones is that they are honest, and they tend to make us see the positive in a situation we otherwise would not have seen.
Stay busy, stay focused, and if possible, stay calm.
Wendy Kaufman is the President and Founder of Balancing Life’s Issues, a national corporate training company. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.