A toxic work environment is a circumstance that some of us deal with. I know first hand how an environment like such can really have a huge effect on your mental health and overall being.
There are amazing companies that create dope work environments which cater to the overall well being and flourishing of the company and its employees and there are companies that do the exact opposite. No matter the situation you’re in, you have absolute control over how you handle things. Now there are some instances where people are being utterly disrespectful and at that point, it’s really up to you to decide if you can physically stay in such a work environment.
“In those situations, you are still called to be faithful with your work – working as for the Lord and not for me”- Annie Downs, 100 Days to Brave
In my case, my work environment itself isn’t all the way toxic, but there are certain things that I wouldn’t do if it were my business. I know most people say that, but in today’s age, you have to take care of your employees and sometimes it goes beyond the money aspect. The type of conversation, the physical environment, your co-workers, the bosses, unpaid parking; there are a number of things that can contribute to a toxic work space. All of that said, I’m sharing 4 Ways to Thrive in Toxic Work Environments.
Stay Close to God & Filled Up On The Word
First of all I’m thankful for my relationship with Christ. When I think about where I was before I got saved to where I am now, there is no way that I would be able to handle or be as calm about a number of things that take place. Every day, I make an effort to spend time in the Word, while at work as well as outside. Making that time these past 2 1/2 years at my job has been essential to my growth and my knowledge about the Word and how I can act in regards to the things that will come up against me.
On the way to work, I either ride in silence, listen to praise and worship music or Christian hip hop and/or listen to a podcast and really create an atmosphere for the level of peace that I want to establish over my day. Me establishing that peace doesn’t mean that something won’t come up or irritate me, but it helps set the tone for how I respond and that’s the most important ESPECIALLY in a toxic work environment. God’s Word is absolute truth; no matter what I’m going through, I’m reminded that my circumstance is only true for a moment.
Keep a Journal
I bring my journal with me everyday to work. This is where I write down any and everything that comes to me; thoughts, goals, scriptures, ideas, etc. This is definitely a very meditative way to thrive in a toxic work environment. Instead of saying anything at all or feeling the need to answer when I personally feel disrespected, I just write it all out. It’s like an emotional brain dump and I can leave it all on the lines.
Instrumental or Nature Playlist
Noise is everywhere. It’s noisy at home, on the way to work, at work, at the gym, wherever you go there is a ton of noise. Due to the fact that I work indoors and can’t make it outdoors for longer than my standard one hour, I like to listen to nature sounds. I literally love listening to rain, waterfalls, streams; anything with water is extremely soothing for me. Whenever I need to just let stuff go and quiet everything around me, I hop on Spotify and instantly chill out.
Not everyone is able to listen to music at work, but with instrumentals or nature sounds, it isn’t really disturbing or distracting. It may even help ease the toxic work environment you’re in by calming everyone else down around you.
Take Your Lunch Away From Work
If you have a chance to take your lunch outside of your office do it. Even if it’s in your car. Get outside, go for a short drive, go park somewhere and read, just get away. Take a break from the very place that causes you to feel anything other than your best self. I’m blessed to live close enough to my job that I can go home for lunch so often times that is what I do. I get good energy while being at home, so to go home for a second and kind of refresh is helpful for me.
No matter what type of work you do or where you want to be in the future, there are ways to stay in control of your mind and what you tell yourself. Beat the system, do what you have to do to keep yourself sane and together. Do what you can with what you have, until you can do what you want. You spend a lot of time at work and in different environments, so make sure you take care of yourself while you’re there.
How do you thrive in a toxic work environment? Is the place you work less than ideal, but you are still pushing through? Drop your tips in the comments! You will get through this! You are strong!