7 Ways to Help Manage Your Mental Health While Working at a Job You Dislike

I got my first job when I was 15 years old and I have worked ever since. I had jobs that were OK and I’ve had jobs that I hated so much I would cry on my way there. I found ANY reason to miss work, as long as I knew my job would not be in jeopardy.

Throughout my work history there was one job that I absolutely loved and it helped me find my true purpose. Unfortunately, I had to leave that job for the sake of my mental health once the management changed!

I have now found myself at another job that I don’t particularly care for. But it’s not because of management, my supervisor, co-worker or drama, etc.

Once I figured out my purpose and just having the goal of working for myself one day, I realized that for 8 hours a day 40 hours a week, I was not being challenged mentally and my talent was going to waste.

This alone made me miserable and every minute at work felt even LONGER.

If you have read my previous blogs, you will know that I when I experience recurring bad feelings I have no choice but to work at changing those feelings. This is for the simple fact that it will end up breeding depression.

Honestly, as I am a wife, mother, entrepreneur, and blogger, I don’t have time for depression. So I do my best at minimizing my chances of a depression episode.

I began to do these 7 things and they have helped me improve how I feel about work and how I feel while I’m at work.

  1. Acceptance – Most of us can’t just quit our jobs. We have real life bills to pay and children to take care of. I know some of us even have extended relatives to care for as well. Sometimes knowing this fact alone can cause you to feel trapped in a situation you don’t want to be in, which in turn breeds depression and anxiety. If you learn to accept that this is where you have to be right now in life in order to provide for your family, your life will feel a little easier. Anything else is added suffering to a situation you don’t want to be in. So, lighten your load by accepting where you are right now.
  1. Gratitude – When you have reached a level of acceptance, you can easily find even the smallest things to be thankful for. Especially all the things that wouldn’t be possible if you didn’t have the job that you dislike so much. There is so much for us to be thankful for if we just can stop focusing on the things that make us feel terrible.
  1. Daily self care – On every day you have to go to work (and even the days you don’t), DO SOMETHING FOR YOURSELF. I do my 30 minutes of self-care every morning, which involves  doing yoga, journaling, and reading a book for 10 minutes each. These are all things that I find enjoyment in and they are also tools within themselves to help me manage my mental health. If your mental health is important to you, I don’t care how busy you think you are, you NEED to MAKE time to care for your mental health. I also suggest taking breaks and lunches while at work. I know some of us are hard workers and believe that if you stay glued to your desk all day you will get more work done. In reality you are wearing yourself down. Even if it’s for 10 minutes, take a step away, go get some fresh air, and give your mind a break. Again, you are doing this for you!
  1. Don’t talk about work outside of work – I use to be that person who when I got home, I had to tell my husband EVERYTHING that happened that day. I was reliving all the emotions that I had experienced earlier in the day. I began to realize that the more I talked about work at home, the more energy I was STILL giving to my job and the less energy I was giving to myself and my family. I’m almost certain most of us don’t get paid to talk about work outside of the 40 hours we get paid for. So how about we leave work at work? Of course, there are exceptions; if you feel like you have to vent about something that happened, try discussing it with your co-workers, since they are the ones that may actually be able to relate to the issue (unless it’s about them).
  1. Fill your void outside of work – If you’re like me and feel as if you are not growing in the way you would like at your job, you can do things outside of work that can help to fill that void. I am a lifelong learner and I have realized that if I am not learning new things and growing, I feel stagnant and that is another cause of depression. I started attending various workshops, started my blog, and worked on my business. All of these things give me hope and an incentive to know that if I keep working, I won’t be at my day job for long.
  1. Find your purpose where you are now – I am a firm believer that things don’t just happen to me; I believe that everything that happens in my life is for a reason. Even if I may not know the reason at first, there still is one. I previously stated that my talents were not being used in the way I felt they could be better utilized somewhere else. Those thoughts and feelings really made acceptance of my situation hard for me. Once I found my purpose in my current job, it truly was life changing for me. I believe my purpose is to continue to learn, practice patience, and help relieve some stress for the people I am serving at a time in their life they need it most. I have found when I treat most people with the utmost kindness, patience, and truly take the time out to help them, they notice and appreciate my efforts and tell me how helpful I have been. Those comments let me know I am doing something right and I’m right where I am supposed to be at this time in my life.
  1. Find another job – In my intro I shared that I had to leave the job I loved for the sake of my mental health.  At that time, my personal life was already in a rough place and the place I went to every day and enjoyed being at started to turn into a place I dreaded going to. So I made the decision to leave. I found another job and I put in my notice.

You know your situation better than anyone else. You know what you can take and you know when you have had enough. If you have reached a stage where you have had enough,  come up with an exit strategy.

Do not sit and be the person who just complains about work day after day and does nothing to change the situation. You are in complete control of your life, whether it’s looking for another job or changing how you view your current one. But know that you are not powerless.

These are the things that I have practiced and they have worked well for me. I hope some of these ideas can do the same for you. Remember, YOU are in control.

Question of the week

Did you have a job that you disliked? How did you manage to get through it?

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