What Do You Do When You Feel Emotionally Taxed at Work?


Following last week’s post, a reader asked me how I would’ve responded to the less-than-friendly Division Director considering what I know now. Simply, had this happened to me today, I would have asked the individual what led her to think that way.

Often, I think about the delivery and weight of my words and question my own communication style. If I don’t, then the intent of my message is lost and as a result, I may end up distanced from others.

While I am convinced that there are more people with good intentions than bad, here are four strategies to keep in mind when you’re feeling emotionally taxed at work:

    1. Don’t discount your life experiences. Each of us carries a deeply personal and unique family history. Be proud of where you come from and the journey taken to get you where you are today. Honor your failures, if you’ve been lucky enough to experience any, because it only means you’ve tried. The best failures are those we learn from and are forever changed by.
    2. Turn your disadvantages into advantages. I am a big fan of Lin-Manuel Miranda. First, we share commonality via our Puerto Rican heritage, hometown roots, and are in the same age group. What’s there not to admire about him? He’s wickedly talented and I enjoyed seeing his first production, In the Heights, because it was a great depiction of our people on stage. On and off-Broadway. Although I haven’t seen Hamilton (yet), I do have a copy of “Hamilton: The Revolution” on my nightstand at home as well as the disc set in my car. The music is amazing but this particular selection resonates with me most.
    3.  Seek out resources offered by your employer to add value to your portfolio. One resource that is often overlooked and underutilized is the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). According to the U.S. Office on Personnel Management, the EAP “is a voluntary, work-based program that offers free and confidential assessments, short-term counseling, referrals, and follow-up services to employees who have personal and/or work-related problems. EAPs address a broad and complex body of issues affecting mental and emotional well-being, such as alcohol and other substance abuse, stress, grief, family problems, and psychological disorders.” I have benefitted from EAP offerings, presently subscribe to my agency’s EAP newsletter, and look forward to the monthly communications highlighting upcoming virtual events and practical tips for home and office.
    4. Invest in yourself. Seek personal development on your own time. Ever feel a void in your personal life or career? I’ve been there! Five years ago, I participated in a fellowship program and completed a phenomenal two and a half-day training workshop that changed my life. During the session, I was held and uplifted by other participants as we discussed topics related to social justice and “the long-standing historical and present-day implications of oppressions that impact us on the individual, organizational and community level.” Because of this particular training and others I’ve completed along the way, I have a greater self-awareness and am confident in my own leadership style. Furthermore, I’m confident that my moral compass keeps me on the right course.

We don’t always confront the same challenges nor have the same tools for addressing difficult situations but I hope that you will seek and arrive to your own answers in due time.

Disclaimer: The opinions, references, and views expressed in this post are those of the guest blogger and do not reflect the official policy or position of the agency where she is currently employed.

Yesenia Flores Díaz is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

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