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How to Get Through a Mentally Challenging Workday

Everyone has had a rough day at work. Whether you have turmoil with colleagues, things are going on outside of work or just did not get enough sleep, there are a wide array of reasons why you may be experiencing hardship. If you find yourself struggling to get through a mentally challenging workday, here are a few strategies to help you get through the day.

Decompress at Home

Stressful days are bound to happen; however, it is also important to have ways to unwind. Once you step away from work and can relax, indulge in time for yourself. Don’t let the stress of the workday seep into your home and ruin the rest of your day. Whether you prefer cbd cigarettes, wine, decadent desserts or some self-care, make sure that you take some time to unwind at the end of a stressful day.


When you undergo acute levels of stress, your breath is naturally affected. Human beings tend to take in less air and in turn, feel more agitated. If you find yourself struggling to get through a particularly challenging workday, take some time for breathing exercises. Not only can this help bring oxygen to your brain, allowing you to feel more focused, but it can also slow down your heart rate and allow you to feel less tense.

Take a Break

For many people who are stressed at work, they tend to power through; however, this can work counterintuitively. You may be unknowingly causing your body and mind more anguish by pushing through a particularly pressure-filled day. Instead of trying to power through, take a break. Even a 5-minute break can allow you to regroup and release some of that built-up burden. If you can, get outside, eat a snack or take a drink of water. These small acts can help you find a better balance.

Eat Lunch

Another counterintuitive strategy that many stressed employees invoke is skipping lunch. When you are feeling stressed, it can feel easier to put your head down and keep working; however, by skipping meals, you are depriving your body of the fuel it needs to get through the day and manage your heightened tension. If you find that you are unenergized, moody or lacking focus, take some time to eat. Even better, step away from your computer and your work to relax for a moment.

List Priorities

Some days, there are just too many tasks to complete in one day. If you are feeling overwhelmed, try listing out your priorities. There may be days where you cannot keep all of the priorities that you have been juggling in the air, and by listing them out, you can identify which priorities can be dropped and which require your focus. Don’t let all of your tasks and to-dos stress you out when you can write them down and develop a clearer perspective.

Manage Others’ Expectations

Many professionals struggle with other people’s expectations at work. Whether you have a manager who sets unrealistic expectations for you or unclear deadlines within a team, this can set you up for a frustrating and fruitless workday. Instead of letting these miscommunications drive your day into mayhem, focus your attention on your clear communication. Ask clarifying questions, express reasonable expectations and help create a healthier course of action. At the end of the day, at the very least you will know what you can and cannot achieve.

Breakdown Larger Tasks

If your challenge is coming from the inability to tackle a big task, your issue may come from not being able to identify a starting point or steppingstones. For larger, more intimidating projects, take some time to outline smaller, more manageable steps. Tackle each of these individually and before you know it, you will begin to make substantial progress.

Think Positively

Another element of workplace difficulty can come from the dialogue that you engage in with yourself. When you are having a hard day, take a moment to refocus your inner monologue and think positively. Stop getting in your way and telling yourself that you cannot achieve your goals. Everyone is allowed to have hard days and they are bound to happen. You need to learn to give yourself grace and self-compassion, refocusing your inner dialogue to be more positive and kinder.

Leave Work at the Workplace

Workplace stress can spill into other parts of your life; however, if you want to regroup and decompress, you need to find a way to leave work at work. Setting boundaries between your work life and your home life can help give you the space to decompress and reduce your stress levels. If you find that you cannot achieve this separation, keep in mind that a mental health day is always a valid reason to rest.


You don’t need to endure tenuous, stressful and exhausting workdays. Don’t let the pressure of work run your life and instead, find ways to relieve it and take back control of your life.

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