I’ve experienced working in a toxic work environment. Words can minimally express the magnitude of mental and physical exhaustion my body endured. The result of this experience was hands down major stress and depression.
As I reflect on the experience, I must ask myself, what was the ACTUAL cost of enduring the experience, and what did I learn.
I learned that in the eye of an employer, I am disposable. I’d also learned that it is My responsibility to appreciate and value my existence by taking care of myself.
I'd like to share a few tips on taking care of yourself while existing in a toxic work environment.
Begin by not allowing yourself to be consumed by work 24-7, this depletes all your energy and leaves minimal left to maintain balance in your life.
Intentionally, create opportunities during the work day to decompress. This includes
stepping away from the desk or workplace. Don’t be afraid to take breaks!
Eat healthy foods to avoid energy slumps throughout the day, physically you’ll feel better.
Commit to turning off the work clock. This means not booting up the company lap top during your time off. If you have don’t have set work hours, create them to set boundaries with work expectation.
Focus on activities that allow you to channel energy into being your authentic self. For example: pull out the craft items engage your creative side.
Recognize you are navigating in a toxic work culture and address issues directly affecting you- this may include a trip to HR. i.e. negative cliques, major communication issues, nit picky biased manager.
Often times one connects the symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression to events in their personal life. This creates a space for denying the reality of how work is negatively affecting your health. Seek professional help to identify the connection between symptoms and events in the work place.
Lastly, your job does not validate your existence, consider finding another place to be your best self and doing your best!