How to Refocus After a Bad Day, Week, Month, or Year
It’s been a whirlwind of a year; you’ve probably had your fair share of highs and lows, but what happens when you need to refocus after a bad day, week, month, or year? We’ve all dealt with the uncertainty, anxiety, confronting social justice, and the stress of a global pandemic for over a year now. This has taken a significant toll on our mental health which impacts your personal and professional life.
Self-care is a crucial practice for taking care of your mental health and getting out of the “fog” of the past year. It also looks different for every individual. For some, self-care might look like unplugging, taking a walk, exercising, reading for pleasure, taking up a hobby for enjoyment, or treating yourself to a new item, spa treatment, or indulging in a sweet treat.
Practicing self-care once can give you an instant boost. Practicing ongoing self-care can help improve your overall mental health and help you better deal with the pressures and stressors of life and your career. Practicing ongoing self-care can also help prevent burnout which means you’ll be more satisfied, productive, and motivated at work.
Cut Yourself Some Slack
We are often our toughest critics, but we need to learn to cut ourselves some slack. Everyone is dealing with a lot in the current climate, so it’s ok to not always feel your usual self or have a positive attitude. When you do notice you’re starting to slip into a “funk,” recognize it but don’t beat yourself up for it – you’ll only drag yourself deeper into negativity.
When you experience these lows or negative thoughts, it’s probably time to practice some self-care to help yourself out. It’s also important to practice self-compassion. This essentially means understanding your emotions and feelings are valid as part of the human experience, but giving yourself grace when you don’t feel upbeat or positive.
Focus on What You Can Control
In life, there are things you can AND cannot control. First, you need to just accept this. Then, focus on the things you can control. When you stop trying to control the things others do, you’ll constantly be spinning your wheels and end up in a cycle of negative thoughts and frustrations. Instead, stay focused on the things you can control.
For example, what is one thing you absolutely can accomplish today? How can you find a more positive outlook on a situation? What can you take responsibility for? These small wins that you control matter and will help you both personally and professionally.
Much like not being able to control what others do, you have to learn how to release the negativity around you – and your own. When you’re constantly taking on the negativity of others and dragging yourself deeper into your own, you’re sure to sink sooner or later.
Make Time for Rest – And Take It
With the pressure to be always on, it’s hard to make time for rest – much less actually take it when you do find the time. However, rest is one of the most important factors in refocuses your mental health for your personal and professional life. Rest is important, and you must make time for it! We all have a lot on our plates, but you will only help yourself if you make time for rest or schedule time to do absolutely nothing.
Putting a pause on everything you have going on personally and professionally to make time for rest will help you reset your mental health. Refocus on your priorities. And make you more productive since your body and mind have had time to recover from the hectic schedules we put on ourselves.
If you’ve been feeling “off” or not like your usual self for a day, a week, a month, or a year that’s ok. It’s even normal to have these feelings! To prevent yourself from burning out or sinking too deep into negativity, it’s important to refocus your mental health. To refocus, you must practice self-care, cut yourself some slack, release negativity, and make time for rest.
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