We are on the last tip that I have for you on how to cope with a toxic work environment while you are in it. Those of you who have been following me for a while now will probably recognize this one. I love to call this tip: the Post It Pause. When you are trapped in a chaotic environment at work, it can seem impossible to find a moment of peace. The Post It Pause allows you to practice mindfulness whenever you need it, without having to leave your desk or feel judged because you are sitting quietly with your eyes closed for 10 minutes. When you are feeling the anger rise up in you or are feeling the tears well up inside, the Post it Pause allows you to have a discreet mindfulness practice where you can focus in on being mindful and coming back to the present moment where everything is just fine. All while looking like you are working.
Here’s how the Post It Pause works: Take out a pen and a Post It Note (or whatever paper you have nearby). Then draw a figure 8 and continue to trace over it. While you are tracing over this 8, focus on your breathing. I recommend that you inhale as reach the top of the 8 and then exhale as you move towards the bottom of the 8. Try to make your breath as even as possible and do this until your frustration starts to diminish. Once you find a sense of calm, you can return to work. A tool like this can really be a game changer and can give you a chance to reconnect with the present moment and return to a state of clarity.
When we’re struggling in a toxic work environment, one of the first things to go is our character and our emotional stability. Maintaining a clear mindset allows us to be the person that we want to be even in difficult situations. Emotional clarity enables you to make better decisions and is going to create a solid foundation for you even if you are in a toxic job. This toxic job that you are in today will be the stepping stone you need to get to the next and better job. If we let our frustration and pain get in the way, we may take actions that could negatively affect us and our career. That is why clarity of mind is incredibly important!
So try out the Post it Pause next time you're feeling overwhelmed at work as a way to discreetly practice mindfulness. Even if you are a fidgety skeptic as author Dan Harris likes to say. For those of you who feel like you identify with being in a toxic work environment where drama and in-fighting get in the way of productivity, sign up for a complimentary strategy session with me HERE so we can create an actionable plan to get out of that job and into work you love.