10 Ways to Make it Through a Hard Work Week

Author: Dan Dipirro Source: Positively Present

Last week was one of the most stressful work weeks I’ve had to deal with in awhile. Work was insanely busy and the marketing department I work in was slammed with a two-day event taking place in our office, an emergency press release, and the launch of a new website — not to mention our regular workload. By the time I collapsed on the couch at the end of each day, I was completely drained. All of my creative, emotional, and physical energy was used up and the thought of doing it all over again — for five days! — made me feel sick to my stomach. Despite the lack of sleep (up at night worrying about work) and the physical toll the week took on my body, looking back on it from the comfort of a Saturday morning I can see that the tough week was actually a really great experience for me. Why? Because it helped me put my regular “busy” workday in perspective.

Last week I was able to not only get all of my regular work done, but I also helped pull off a very successful event, issue a press release, and launch a brand new website. Doing all of these things, while still getting my normal tasks accomplished, made me incredibly grateful for the regular work week. Next week — busy as it might be — will be nothing compared to the week I just had. I suppose tough times are like that. They serve as wonderful reminders of how good we have it when things aren’t over-the-top stressful.

Even though I’m grateful for the fresh perspective last week gave me (not enough perspective to make me want to give up my dream as a writer, but enough to get me through at least a few more weeks), it wasn’t all sunshine and inspiration while it was happening. It was a pain in my ass, to be exact. It was a head-pounding, back-aching, get-me-the-hell-outta-here kind of week. Not the easiest week to be positive and stay present (who wants to stay focused on the now when the now is so stress-filled?!) — but I did my best. Here are some of the things I did to make it through the week and arrive safely at Saturday.

10 Tips to Make It from Monday to Friday Without Killing Anyone

1. Let less important things slide. I’m a big fan of my routines. I like to get up in the morning and write and check out some of my favorite sites online. During stressed out week, there is no time to check my Google Reader or respond to emails from my friends. There’s no dilly-dallying online or taking a nice relaxing lunch break. Last week I resolved to let these things slide. I could catch up on my reading and writing over the weekend; I could enjoy the two-days of relaxation at the end of the week. Instead of harping on all of the little things I loved to do but couldn’t, I resolved to let those things slide and look forward to catching up on them over the weekend.

2. Take deep breaths and time outs. When dealing with a very hectic day, it’s tough to remember to take deep breaths and time outs. No matter how busy you are, taking breaks is essential. Even if it’s a short walk around the building or a five-minute time out in the bathroom, I’ve found that taking breaks is one of the best ways to beat the stress. Also, in-between breaks it’s imperative to take deep breaths. Boss throws another big task on your already-full plate? Take a deep breath. Coworker snaps at you for offering to help? Take a deep breath. Irritating email arrives in your in-box? Take a deep breath. Deep breaths are small things that can make a big difference in a stressful situation.

3. Bond with the people around you. Annoying as this week was, one of the best things about it was being able to bond with two of my coworkers who were in the same boat I was. While wading through all of the tasks we had to do, we cracked jokes, commiserated on our situation, and generally tried to have a good time while we got stuff done. For three days we were together pretty much constantly and this could have been a very easy time for us to grow irritated with one another. But instead of letting the stress bring us down, we did what we could to bring each other up. We laughed, we complimented each other, and we turned our negative situation into a chance for us to have some fun.

4. Do something nice for someone. With stress seeping into your every pore, one of the last things you’re probably thinking about is doing something nice for someone else. In fact, you’re probably thinking, “Someone should be doing something nice for me!” However, I’ve found that doing something nice for someone else — and it can be something as small as asking someone how she’s doing or holding the door for a coworker — helps you to feel much more positive. I can think of a few instances from the past week where I did a small thing and it made a big impact on me. Take a moment to do something nice and you’ll feel a rush of positive energy!

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