Word-Of-the-Week #679: Coping

August 10, 2017 by  

Coping – dealing with difficulties and acting to overcome them.

Do you work in a toxic environment? Are you involved in any toxic relationships? Are you dealing with difficulties in any areas of your life?

This is part 2 of Doug Williams San Diego UT article, “How to stay afloat when your workplace is toxic.” We left off with “The first thing to remember, you can only manage yourself. You can’t control other people, especially if it’s a manager being the toxic factor. And in terms of managing yourself, really, that’s where mindfulness comes in very powerfully, to help the employee realize what they can control and to let go of what they can’t. Sometimes that letting go of what you can’t control is a huge relief for people.”

This week features 5 tips on…

How to cope

Among the strategies Mattice Zundel and Cassisa suggest to mitigate the negative impacts of a toxic work environment:

  1. Don’t be helpless. Change how you react or work to change the environment. That may mean setting up a discussion with HR, a boss or developing an exit strategy. “Creating a strategy to solve your problem tells your brain you’re resilient and it gives you something to focus on,” says Mattice Zundel.
  1. Set boundaries. Put limits on how late you’ll stay, what you’ll accept and what kind of office politics or gossip you’ll allow yourself to get pulled into. Leave work at work. Tell the boss what is and isn’t OK for you.
  1. Engage more. If you see something wrong at work, try to fix it. If you see harassment, don’t let it go. Be an agent of change. It will make you feel positive.

“When you see uncivility or unprofessionalism occur and you don’t step in and put a stop to them immediately, they are allowed to flourish,” says Mattice Zundel. “Then people will continue to push the boundaries until you eventually have a toxic work environment.” 

  1. Do things to de-stress. Exercise releases endorphins that make us feel better. Spend time with friends or groups away from work. Avoid co-workers who drag you down with complaining.
  1. Find self-esteem elsewhere. If you’re not getting the rewards at work you need, spend time doing something you love — and are good at — such as sports, the arts or hobbies.”

This week is about coping. How comfortable are you at setting boundaries? Are you willing to speak up to stop bad behavior? What activity helps reduce your stress?

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