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Do you take your personal issues to the office? Stop it...

Friday May 17 2019

A year ago, Ann Weah lost her job after using abusive language at work. PHOTO | FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP

A year ago, Ann Weah lost her job after using abusive language at work. PHOTO | FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP 

LILYS NJERU
By LILYS NJERU
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A year ago, Ann Weah lost her job after using abusive language at work. That day, she arrived at work late, and when a colleague commented about it, she rudely told him to mind his own business.

In a letter to HR explaining her behaviour, she defended herself saying that she had had a bad morning.

To begin with, her daughter had been left by the school bus, forcing her to take her to school herself.

Upon returning home to prepare for work, she found her kitchen flooded. Having left in a hurry, she had left the kitchen tap running.

Besides that, she had had to contend with a two-hour traffic jam that made her late for work.

How often do you behave inappropriately at work or how often are you rude to colleagues just because you’re having a ‘bad’ day? It does not matter what you may be going through at home, the workplace is a professional space where personal issues have no place.

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Isaac Maweu, a psychologist, gives tips that can help you to separate personal matters from professional ones.

1.Take time off for self-care

If experiencing a personal crisis that is affecting how you relate with your colleagues or affects your input at work, it is advisable to request your employer for a break to sort out what is bothering you and return to work when you deal with the stressors.

It does not benefit you or your employer if you turn up to work every day but are partially engaged.

Self-care means taking good care of yourself by, for instance, ensuring that you are emotionally sound.

2.Compartmentalise

Pamela Nyaga, a marketing executive with a touring firm, says that she is careful not to take personal matters to work.

“Instead of passing around negative energy, on those days, I fully immerse myself in work since this distracts me from what I am going through. I have also found that listening to music calms me.”

3.Communicate, share how you feel

If unable to take a break from work, the next best thing that you can do is share what you are going through with a friend or a close colleague.

Unburdening what you are going through to someone who will listen to you is therapeutic. It helps you to relieve the tension caused by the build-up of whatever is stressing you.

Expressing your emotions also helps to reduce the risk of acquiring stress-related illnesses such as headaches and muscle aches.

Do not feel the need to pretend that all is well. If not ready to share, you could let your colleagues know that you are not at your best, a signal for them to give you some space.

4.Join a support group

Having a good social support system will help you to deal with everyday challenges that you face and boost your ability to bounce back to normalcy.

Human beings are social beings, and engaging with people with whom you have common interests buoys the spirit.

Thanks to advancement in technology, you do not necessarily have to be physically present because there are many support groups that exist in various social media platforms.

You can join such communities, a safe space to share your concerns and get advice or support from members who may be going through the same experience.

5.Increase your level of self-awareness

Being conscious of why you act or react in certain ways is important.

It enables you to focus on your strong areas as well as build on the areas that you need to improve on.

Look at yourself objectively and admit that you are not perfect.

Seek help not because you are weak, but because you want to become a better person. You may not know it, but you could be suffering from a mood disorder, which can affect your personal relationships, work, family and school life.

There are three major subtypes of mood disorder: Bipolar, major depressive disorder, and manic moods.

Once diagnosed, one can be treated by combining psychotherapy and medication.

6.Seek professional help

Sometimes, we face challenges that affect our emotions, hence causing emotional imbalance.

Our ability to respond effectively depends on current mental wellness and our personality. Consider reaching out to a professional counselor for help.

One’s psychological wellbeing is very important. If your behaviour is harming you and those around you, it’s an indicator that there is a matter that needs to be addressed before it escalates.

7.Exercise

John Maiko, a cleric, confesses that when he is exhausted, he becomes short- tempered. To avoid getting here, he exercises every morning before going to work.

“My routine comprises of skipping and weight lifting. It helps me to relax and rejuvenate. I also find that it helps when I take a couple of days off from work and travel for leisure.”

 

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