Bad breakups. Family drama. Financial upheaval. All of these things can happen to the best of us at some point. And when disaster strikes, our initial impulse can be to don the pajamas, curl up on the couch with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and hide from the world for a few days. Or weeks. Or months.
Though you might not be up for it, you should go to work consistently when your personal life is in turmoil. Here’s why:
Work will distract you
I have been through my share of bad break ups, and each time it’s really hard to escape the loop of conversations, arguments and memories that plays over and over in your mind. And while grief is a natural part of the healing process, there is a point where the sadness can completely overwhelm you. At some point, you have to hit the “stop” button and get back to your life.
Going to work during these times can give your brain that all-important break it needs from your personal problems. At work, there aren’t reminders of your ex (unless you worked with him or her, which is another story), sad songs playing on the radio and bad romantic comedies calling your name. There are, however, progress reports, email campaigns and company meetings that all need your attention. Going to work will not only ensure that you’ll still have a job when your personal crisis subsides, but it can provide the distraction you need to get through it.
Work can provide a support network
You spend 40 (or more) of your waking hours each week with your co-workers. Needless to say, it’s likely you’ve got some close friends at work, people who may already know a fair amount about your personal life.
While you don’t need to dish every detail of your personal affairs at work, letting a few close work friends in on your drama may provide the comfort and support you need to get through the day. Studies have shown that close friendships play an important role in the fight against psychological and physical illness. In addition, co-workers can be especially helpful if your crisis involves people outside the office — they can be a good source of honest feedback and impartial advice.
Work can help you re-claim your self-worth
When life gets rough, it’s easy to allow feelings of doubt, insecurity and diminished self-worth creep in and affect you. During my own personal crises of past, I’ve wondered if was strong enough to move forward. If you’re not careful, the feelings of doubt can quickly throw you into a downward spiral and wreck your self-esteem.
Going to work, however, has reminded me that no matter how dire things seem, there are still contributions I can make to the world. Completing even the simplest day-to-day tasks and responsibilities can boost self-esteem, remind you of your talents and help you feel productive at the end of the day. Also since self-esteem is tied closely to workplace performance, showing up at work during times of adversity can provide the fuel for your self-worth that will lead to additional career success in the future.
Noel Rozny is a member of the Brazen Life Contributor Network.