The Focus On You

*Self-Care & Lifestyle Blog*

Category: Inspiration (page 1 of 23)

2017 Needs New Coping Skills

2017 has really screwed with my ____________ (Fill in the blank).

Personally, this year has been hell on my productivity. For many of my friends there have been family struggles, health setbacks, career changes, you name it. I can absolutely attribute my troubles to the political climate.

As an empath, social media lurker and blogger, it’s impossible to stay away from the news. Sharing my content and connecting with my networks requires a heavy social media presence. Unfortunately, the consistent barrage of bad news is wreaking hell on my soul.

I honestly feel useless and unsure of how to help. I share information about food drives, donation efforts and whatever information is helpful and not “gossip.”

If you’re feeling exhausted like me this year, let’s create a new stack of coping skills.

Here is what I’ll be doing to cope in the next few months:

Preparation: For many people, being prepared can give you a sense of control. Prepared doesn’t always mean being organized and I am a classic example of this. My husband can vouch for this! Regaining a small sense of control in our lives is important when things are feeling out of control. Click To Tweet I have felt this lately, especially because of my earthquake trauma. When I feel edgy or unsettled, cleaning or organizing important papers helps me channel my energy effectively. Although there are many events in our lives we can’t prepare for, it can’t hurt us to have family emergency plans or first aid kits in the car. Our household has been clearing out clutter and donating them to hurricane efforts as well as stocking up on canned goods. Preparation and donating to others can increase your sense of purpose and eliminate clutter.

Movement: I have found it easier to unplug from negativity and bad news if I am outdoors or just moving. Sitting and binging on Netflix makes it too easy to pick up my phone, which goes against self-care and healthy coping. I am committing to more dog walks, bike rides after dinner, gym classes and weekend outdoor activities. The change of season is a perfect time to get fresh air, increase circulation to my organs and release funky energy that is undigested in my system. I recently watched a webinar that discussed the concept of “emotional digestion.” When our emotions get stuck or clogged, they become toxic in our system. It’s similar to food digestion. If we never expel what we consume, it stagnates and toxifies our system.

Challenge: How can you expel toxic emotions that haven’t been digested? How could movement help?

Asking For Help: We don’t have to suffer alone. Regardless of what we’re struggling with, how can we reach out safely to others? If all of our problems could be solved by asking friends and family, there would be no need for therapists. Think about it……Sometimes we have to share our frustrations or thoughts outside of our circles. If you’re having employment difficulties, wouldn’t you want to chat with someone who understands what you’re going through? Wouldn’t you lean towards articles or groups focused on this? I’ll be getting creative with my own battle plan and reaching out to my networks for clarity. I’m also venturing out with another therapy internship so I’ve been looking outside of my comfort zone for assistance. I recommend Facebook groups, local support groups and spiritual groups to be an added link of support. There are numerous Facebook groups for the recently divorced, infertility, career, health-related issues, grief, etc.

Remember, a closed mouth doesn’t get fed!

Most importantly, we have to remind ourselves that no matter what is hurting our soul, we matter. We matter to someone. We have a purpose and our purpose doesn't change based on a bad season of our life. Click To Tweet Our ancestors have struggled with 10 times more than us, yet they made it through with less resources. Don’t feel bad if you don’t know how to cope. We’re all learning as we go!!

Why Your Emotional Intelligence Gets In The Way Of Your Success

This post contains affiliate links.

Lately I keep hearing “emotional intelligence”, or EQ,  thrown into conversations about career and the workplace. After doing some quick research I was surprised to see how much this relates to why I may not be succeeding in my career.

Ironically, I have been spending the last few months digging into my career goals. Aside from blogging I have dual licenses to provide mental health and addictions treatment. In my field, having licensure is like gold. And adding additional licenses makes you more marketable.

I now realize that I have spent the last few years being “too comfortable.” Although I attend continuing education on a monthly basis I haven’t necessarily grown in my profession. I have never held a management position because I love working one-on-one with clients but this can hurt me in the long run.  I have spent more energy in the last 2 years growing as a writer and with my personal brand. This is important to me but it isn’t my bread and butter.

After learning about EQ and re-assessing where I want to grow professionally, I realize where my weaknesses are. As I’m applying for a new therapy license, I see how little I have done “on paper.” I can gas myself up all day but it’s true that what we show on paper is what pays the bills. Even after receiving a degree we still have to hustle for positions and upward growth in our careers.

What does emotional intelligence have to do with success in general?

Managing Difficult Situations – If you want to move into a leadership position at work or in volunteer roles,  examine how well you handle stress. Do you blow up or do you hide in the corner? Some of our immediate and comfortable reactions may be stifling our growth. Have you ever told your kids to stand up to a bully? This is somewhat similar. Children learn to exercise their assertiveness muscle by using it. Adults aren’t any different. See how you can stretch out of your comfort zone and step up to help!

Clearly Expressing Yourself I sometimes struggle with this one because have a bad habit of fumbling my words. In my field, dealing with people in crisis, I have to remember to simplify my message and/or directions. People in trauma may not process “wordy” instructions. Expressing yourself diplomatically and clearly is important in upper management and if you work with people outside your company. You don’t want your boss or client (if you work freelance) to have a bad impression about you because you can’t get your message across. Re-read your emails and rehearse important messages before big meetings if you feel unsure. No one has to know that you practiced with a script.

People Want To Work With You If you have a strong EQ, you are aware of your own and others’ emotions. You’re not barking demands to someone who’s apparently overwhelmed or having a personal crisis. Have you ever worked with someone who “doesn’t see you?” Some circles would argue that male colleagues are usually less “aware” of emotional cues their co-workers give off. Healthy emotional intelligence means you relate well to others personally and professionally and are willing to collaborate. These people avoid power struggles and take criticism well. I think I excel in this area and have improved on receiving criticism (not that I ever blew up or anything). Regardless of whether we’re an educator, self-employed, professional or a Lyft driver, don’t we all want to get along with others and bring in more business?

If you’re struggling in the workplace AND the dating scene, dig a little further and see how emotional intelligence relates to the dating world.

Are you unapproachable?

Are you carrying the weight of work into social circles?

Are you being fake while dating because you don’t know jack about your emotions? Do you push people away because you can’t regulate your anger or bad attitude?

Want to assess your EQ? Take this free emotional intelligence quiz! I enjoyed this quick audit and it helped me understand what areas I need to work on.

The purpose of this post is to help you re-evaluate where you may be slipping. If we don’t know what we’re doing “wrong” how can we change? Click To Tweet Honestly, I don’t know how much constructive feedback managers will give you regarding emotional intelligence. But if you can pinpoint your weaknesses and improve them, it can increase your chances for success, and better yet, long-term growth.

Further resources:

Mindtools.com – A wealth of resources on career related topics. Assessments, worksheets, etc.

 

 

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