Personal Issues Impacting Work

A reader writes….

Dear, Anita,
I am struggling with some MAJOR personal issues, and it’s causing me to lose sight of things. I can barely eat, sleep, or function… much less work. The truth is, I just want to curl up in a ball.
The last thing I need is to lose my job, but I can’t seem to get myself together. What should I do?

Dear, “Focus,”

I have named you “Focus” because that is precisely what you need to do in this situation.

  1. Focuson yourself. Whether you’re going through a divorce, experiencing a loss of a loved one, or whatever the case may be… you need to TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. This includes getting outside, soaking in some fresh air, healthy eating, exercise, rest, meditation, counseling, and for many… prayer. If you have personal time, sick time, or vacation time on the books with your employer, request to take it. You may need a break from work so that you can allow yourself some time to heal. In your current state of mind, it doesn’t seem as though you would be giving it your all in the workplace any way.(That leads me to my next suggestion… which, by the way, is the complete OPPOSITE from this one!)


  2. Focus on your job.As difficult as it may be to believe… your job may actually be a great escape from whatever is going on in your personal life. The simple act of taking a shower and getting dressed is an accomplishment in and of itself. Then turning your attention to getting to work, mapping out your plan for the day, teaming up with colleagues on projects, concentrating on every task and job duty, the list can go on and on. Next thing you know, even if just for a brief moment, you’re not dwelling on your personal situation. No, it doesn’t go away from your thoughts, but you’re turning your energy into something positive and productive. 
  3. Focus on your Manager and Co-Workers. Now, by now you’re probably wondering what the heck I’m talking about since most self-help books or therapists would continue with a long list of positive affirmations and mantras to help you get through. This being “Job Talk with Anita Clew,” I tend to keep my advice work-related. What I’m getting at with my 3rd point is the fact that your professional team members (and possibly several other people) are relying on you. They need you to remain dedicated to them and your work. Whatever your profession may be, you play a part of a bigger picture and your attendance and professionalism is necessary and important. YOU are important to your organization. (This message holds true to people with kids or others who depend on you). In all fairness to them, you cannot shut yourself off from the world and those that need you.

I am so sorry to hear you are going through a tough time, but with a little FOCUS, you will get through this.

Readers, please post your well wishes and share any other words of wisdom… we could all use a boost!

14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. William Dahlstrom
    Nov 21, 2012 @ 00:51:49

    i always read about something discussing self-help. Self-help is really helpful for anyone.


  2. m.capriola
    Apr 11, 2012 @ 09:45:44

    Wow. A lot of good advice here.
    The main thing is to leave your personal problems at home and your work problems at work. Concentrate on doing your job when you’re at work. Handle personal problems and responsibilities away from the job, and don’t worry about the job once you walk out the employee’s door at the end of the day. The sanity you save may be your own.

    BTW: Forget self-help books. Like diet books, they’re useless. If there was one self-help program that actually worked, everyone would buy that book and there’d be no market for others. Same thing with diet books. People keep writing these things because none of them actually work.

    And don’t tell me that “Such-and-such self-help book changed my life.” “Stranger in a Strange Land” changed my life, but I was 18 at the time and didn’t know shinola from the other stuff. “Elfquest” changed my life, too, but who gives a rat’s behind?


  3. Violet Diggs
    Apr 10, 2012 @ 10:54:58

    I agree to focus, but how to focus when you have two thing on your mind?


  4. Brenda
    Apr 09, 2012 @ 05:25:55

    F: Finish
    O: One
    C: Course
    U: Until
    S: Successful

    I love this!! With the above, we can get through most anything! Praying for us all as we try and “focus” on what is important and what isn’t. Don’t sweat the small stuff but take care of yourself!


  5. Capt. Savage
    Apr 08, 2012 @ 13:32:12

    I had a really bad cycling accident a few years ago and had nearly 3 months off work. I felt like curling up in a ball and that I couldn’t get back to work (or didn’t think I would fit in). But it was my manager, my work colleagues, the work supplied counsellor, work supplied rehab aids, and all their encouragement that pulled me through. Be honest with yourself and admit you are in trouble and seek help from your manager and colleagues, you maybe surprised how much they need you and care about you!

    Capt. Savage
    (saved busy his work)


  6. Robin
    Apr 03, 2012 @ 05:59:37

    Focus is good…focus on YOU! Focus on discovering the things that cloud your day and eliminate or diminish them. I am sure you have had experience with a schedule since you have a job. Schedule your personal time to include …its all about me time. At the beginning of your day…set your Focus on having the “best day ever” and go do it! I know that sounds so simple but a positive start is something you are currently missing. At the end of your day don’t focus on negativity, again focus on what went well. You don’t always need big successes to have a successful day. Did someone do something, say something, or just smile and make a moment in your day a success? Did you do or say something to make someone else experience a moment of success? Small steps…most often are the most effective.
    We don’t know your personal issues and they may be much more serious than just focusing in on them by yourself. If your employer has an Employee benefit that includes mental health services, financial services, or legal service please make use of them. They are excellent programs that allow for you to reach out to professionals who can help.
    SOMETIMES SOME OF THE BIGGEST STRESS IS TAKING THE STEPS TO GET HELP. YOU REACHED OUT TO ANITA CLEW…reach out to the professionals who can truly provide the best methods of coping and getting in Focus. The very best to you in a speedy return to your comfort and peace.


  7. Todd Hutchins
    Apr 02, 2012 @ 23:51:07

    I agree. Sometimes focusing on something outside of yourself, even for a short time (the workday) can help you get through your struggles. And you WILL get through it.


  8. Ann Nelloms
    Apr 02, 2012 @ 20:44:53

    Sometimes In our life we encounter a relationship with trouble.It seems like
    every thing is against you .people, circumstance even our own thoughts
    about how we are seeing ourselves
    In light Of our accomplishments or failures .
    Every thing on this earth is temporary,you are
    experiencing a season In your life that will change.Anitas advice is good.Take some time for yourself if you can if not focus your thoughts on others.Those Who need you
    dispite how you are feeling right now.Dont
    give up your Job for a temporary season.Use it
    to push you forward.Trials come to make Us stronger.


  9. Chipmunks Clothes
    Apr 02, 2012 @ 18:22:16

    Such great advice! I was in an accident two weeks ago and have suffered from migraines, dizziness, and ringing ears ever since. The emotions this person described as curling up in a ball are shared. It’s important to remember others when the odds stack up. Taking time to relax is a must I suppose.


  10. huggy
    Apr 02, 2012 @ 18:20:25

    Is very sad to hear a story like focus.Ai can’t even imagine to be in her shoes…the only thing I can suggested is if you have kids focus on keeping your don’t want to be homeless.focus for your kids and I wish you well…


  11. Boss Lady
    Apr 02, 2012 @ 15:49:36

    Focus is the best advice. Before you know it, things will not seem as bad as they once did. Staying FOCUSED on GOD, ones self and family will get you thru this tough time in your life. Keep your head up!


  12. Tiffany Lieu
    Apr 02, 2012 @ 15:23:20

    I hate to be in Focus’ shoes. Focus has too many distractions. On the other hand, the Bay Area is a very high inflation region. I am assuming Focus is somewhere nearby. Focus should take it easy. As for work, I do not know how else to recommend except make do with the circumstances. If Focus is unable to work, then I guess it is best to have a serious discussion with the manager about the potential problems including the health issues. People need to always pay attention to their health first. Bad health can be a serious disability in later years. So, Focus should nurse own self first and work come second. I am also assuming Focus has been earning enough over the years to live for duration until recovery.


  13. Artina Leatrice Graves
    Apr 02, 2012 @ 08:48:49

    I would also suggest if her company an in house therapist that she go see her or him. If her company does not provide her with one she need to see an outside counselor. She has the symptons of someone going through depression. Someone need to let her how severe they are and if she need to do anything more than make herself happy. I like the idea of focusing on your coworkers. Maybe if your family. It will give you a reason to get up the next day because you have to do something for them. Then take a trip with a friend or without. Then find a group meeting such as a book club or a favorite hobby like knitting club. The best thing in the world for her is to be around more people so she would feel so isolated and alone. I hope your reader is reading this because I know a few people who has been through this and although they are single. They are so much more happy. They did exactly what Anita said above and some of the things I listed as well. Find things that will distract you or make you happy just to be out and about. .My focus is in my faith and belief in God.


  14. peggy
    Apr 02, 2012 @ 08:41:14

    I feel the same way as you do focus. I love the straight forward advice Anita has given you. You can get through this. I am reading a book called Everything,s going to be Okay. It’s an easy read, it’s a book of quotes written by Douglas Pagels. The best positive energy is going out to you Focus. From Focus


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Anita Clew's blog posts are intended for general guidance and should never be taken as legal advice. In all instances where harassment, inequity, or unfair treatment is believed to be present, please consult your HR Department or legal representation.
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