Super Sensitive Tips for Surviving a Negative Work Environment
As super sensitive souls, finding a career or work environment we thrive in can often be tricky. Because we are so easily overstimulated and affected by others energies, bright lights, and loud noises- we can find the typical office environment overwhelming and filled with negativity. At the end of the day we are left anxious, drained, irritable, and feeling hopeless about our situation. There are definitely careers that are more suited to HSPs, such as being an entrepreneur- where we can work from home, or occupations that serve others such as the healing arts, counseling, coaching, etc. However, if you are in a situation currently where your work environment feels negative or extra stressful to you, here are my top tips for how to get through your day and with less overwhelm while preserving your energy.
1. Identify the problem:
Ask yourself what exactly it is that is causing you so much strife during your day? Is it your coworkers? Your boss? The team you’re on? Really start to narrow down exactly what is wearing on you. Because once you identify the issue, then you can start brainstorming creative ways to fix it. Maybe it is switching to a different department or moving your desk to a different location in the office. Or maybe it’s asking your boss if you can work from home one day a week. Or several days a week! You never know what your coworkers or boss are willing to adjust for you until you ask. The worst that can happen is they say no. And perhaps you recognize that you just need to switch jobs altogether. Maybe you have gotten so used to the misery that you stopped noticing how much it is affecting you until you really took a step back. However, you may be in a situation where looking for a new job is not an option right now. If so, read on for more tips to transform your workday experiences.
2. What do you see?
The things we look at day in and day out affect us wether we realize it or not. Making small, subtle visual changes to your environment can add up to a total shift in how we are feeling! Look around your office or work environment- is your desk or space cluttered? Disorganized? Messy spaces can feel overwhelming and chaotic to us. Set aside some time to clean things up and get organized. This goes for your computer too- organize files and folders and make sure the most important information is easily accessible. Once you have your space neat, you can start to add things in. Fresh flowers or a plant in your space is a reminder of the grounding sense we get in nature- and it can really brighten up your area! Put up pictures of family and friends that make you feel good when you look at them. Maybe you have a bulletin board where you can post inspirational messages- or use one as your screensaver. I used to have crystals at my desk- black obsidian and smokey quartz to absorb negativity and protect my energy. I had aromatherapy I could spray around so I was surrounded by sights and scents that were calming and uplifting to me. (And yes, LOL, some of my co-workers thought I was weird- but I did not care)! All of these little things add up to help your space feel more inviting and less alien.
3. What are you hearing?
What are the sounds you hear everyday? Is there a lot of negative gossip in your office? Loud phones ringing? Complaining customers? As HSPs we are very easily irritated by certain sounds. If you are in a work environment that allows it I would highly recommend getting a great pair of noise canceling headphones. Listen to your favorite podcasts during the day or cue up inspirational TED talks. Put on music that you love. Sometimes, I just need silence to really bare down and focus. So there is a website I LOVE called simplynoise.com- it has several different kinds of white noise that play and is absolutely free! So good if you need to block everything out!
4. What are you doing?
What actions are you actually taking during your day to make yourself feel better and be less stressed? There are lots of things you can do here- but my favorite one is to take your breaks! So many of us don’t take the breaks that we have available- we eat at our desk, work through lunch, go from 9-5 without once leaving the office. But breaks are there for a reason! Start taking them and you will see an immediate shift. Go out and get lunch somewhere. Or take the lunch you brought from home and eat outside. Even with a 10-15 minute break, go outside and go for a walk. Take some deep breaths and get some fresh air! Changing up your visual environment breaks up your day and is a perfect time to check in with yourself and ask yourself how you are feeling and what you most need in that moment. Also- vacation time! Take it!! Use all of it! Even if you can’t afford to go out of town, use your vacation time for a staycation. As HSPs especially, we NEED these days off to recharge and rest. It’s vital.
And use your sick days too. You know it is ok to take an “emotional health day”. Our mental health is just as important as our physical health. You can just call in and say you don’t feel well. You don’t have to explain why. Give yourself space and time to breathe and process if you need it.
Another helpful tip is to pray. Pray before you go to work. Pray in the car or on the bus on your way into work. Whatever your higher power is- ask that you be protected, that you not absorb any negativity, that you maintain your own energy. Pray that you will see the positive in your day and the things to be grateful for. Visualize your day going smoothly, your interactions with coworkers going smoothly. You can do this throughout the day too if you feel your stress rising and your energy slipping. Go into a bathroom or empty office and center yourself and pray. Ask for help.
And my final tip for you, dear sensitives, is to BE THE LIGHT. The most negative people in your office or workplace are probably those that are suffering the most. Start thinking of ways you can bring your positive, bright light into that environment and change someone’s day! When you are being the light, you start to feel more empowered rather than disempowered! What can you do to cheer somebody up? To be of service? Brighten someone else’s day and you will immediately feel better. Go into that office and shine your beautiful sensitive light into all the dark corners you can find!
No matter what your work situation- you are needed. You are powerful. You are being guided.
Get the noise canceling headphones here