June 15, 2024
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June 15, 2024
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How to Manage Our Emotions and Workloads

For anyone who is following the Israel-Hamas war closely, you are likely affected by the challenge of how to work and be productive during times of immense sadness, pain and horror.

On the one hand, we want to be fully immersed in what’s occurring in the Holy Land and find ways to be supportive of acheinu Bnei Yisrael. We also may feel guilty discussing work-related matters with others who have been equally affected.

On the other hand, we have jobs to do, projects to complete, sales to make, and meetings to attend. For many of us who were away from work for the better part of three weeks and were looking forward to “getting back to work,” the horrific news from the Holy Land made that a near impossibility.

The following are some strategies that can help individuals cope with distressing news while still focusing on work:

  • Acknowledge Your Emotions: Recognize and accept your emotions rather than suppressing them. It’s okay to feel upset or distressed about such events.
  • Set Realistic Expectations: Understand that during times of distress, your productivity might not be at its peak. Setting achievable goals for the day can help manage expectations.
  • Create a Supportive Environment: Surround yourself with supportive colleagues or friends who can provide a sense of community and comfort during difficult times.
  • Establish Boundaries: Set clear boundaries between your personal life and work. Try not to let the distress spill over into your work hours. Creating a structured work environment can help maintain a sense of normalcy.
  • Engage in Physical Activity: Regular exercise can help alleviate stress and improve your overall mood. Even a short walk or stretching break during work hours can be beneficial.
  • Limit Exposure to News: Constantly monitoring distressing news can exacerbate your feelings of distress. Limit your exposure to news updates, especially during work hours, to maintain your focus.
  • Seek Professional Support if Needed: If your distress is significantly impacting your ability to function, consider speaking to a mental health professional who can provide you with further strategies to cope effectively.
  • Focus on Tasks That Require Less Mental Effort: If possible, try to prioritize tasks that are less mentally demanding, allowing you to ease into work without feeling overwhelmed.
  • Take Breaks: Schedule short breaks throughout your workday to recharge. Stepping away from your desk and engaging in a different activity can help improve your focus when you return to work.

Remember, it’s essential to prioritize your mental well-being during difficult times. If you find that your distress is overwhelming, consider taking time off work to focus on self-care and seek the support you need.

Naphtali Hoff, PsyD, is an executive coach and president of Impactful Coaching and Consulting (ImpactfulCoaching.com). He can be reached at 212.470.6139 or at [email protected].

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