Expert Speak

Here’s how to not let your work life get affected after a breakup

A breakup is hard enough to tackle on its own. How do you cope with it when you have to continue your work life normally while healing?
young sad man in the office

You can’t keep your personal life separate from your work life

It doesn’t matter how long you loved and how intense the relationship was for whatever period it survived. What matters is, breakups leave you broken, crippled and in nine out of ten cases, physically ill. It is a debilitating experience for many, and the worst part is, the pain seeps into every other area of your life, and feels starkly endless. As if this is how life is going to be forever. These are the times, where one not only has to create a safe space for themselves, but also try hard so that they can use resources and tools to have a sense of control. For a lot of people, compartmentalisation of emotions is not a possibility, and hence work life suffers terribly. But a semblance of boundary and safety is imperative in order to not let work life get affected. Here are a few simple hacks!

If you can, apply for leave immediately

Of course, breakups may not come with fixed dates and schedules – around holidays or just before you’ve exhausted all your leave at work, but yes, certain times, you may be able to apply for leave. Why I am asking you to do this, is because you need to take out time. It is practically impossible for you to go through a breakup today and work efficiently in office tomorrow.

It is practically impossible for you to go through a breakup today and work efficiently in office tomorrow.

You will feel something tugging at your heart and making you ill by the time afternoon arrives.

The first intelligent thing to do is to acknowledge that for the next few days you are not going to be in your best emotional state, and therefore applying for leave is the best option. Not only it is a valid reason, for after all you are applying in order to take care of your emotional health, but also this is the time where you can reflect, redirect your energies and set newer goals to make yourself realise that something has ended. Remember, we all need time to grieve and there’s no harm in doing that.

Close the phone-portal

It is a given thing that at work you will feel frustrated, confused and would regularly sneak into the bathroom to shed a tear or two. I had a friend who would take ‘howling breaks’ in office; he’d rush to the bathroom every hour, flip open his phone, look at his ex-girlfriend’s Facebook profile, and howl endlessly. You need to understand that the smartphone is nothing but a portal to your misery. It is a time-energy capsule that time and again makes you relive the trauma of your break up in a loop. And once that happens, there is no stopping. You would probably come back home with a splitting headache and gulp down a fistful of aspirin! And that needs to stop.

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Related reading: Is it fine to still be friends on social media after a breakup?

Switch to self-preservation instead of destruction

The most immediate after-effect of a breakup is an endless sense of remorse and sudden drop of their sense of self-worth. People also seek escape through food and sleep. Daily life rhythm becomes erratic as they eat anything they like and just lie in bed for hours. Even at work they feel tired and exhausted and just want to leave and resort to lazy endless hours on the couch. Instead, I would suggest, understand that the leaving of your partner was never about how you are as a person, how you look and how charming you are as a personality. Hence redirect all your dissipating energy in eating healthy.

Make it a goal to exercise regularly and channel your energies into this project: where you are all set to transform yourself. Physical transformation does matter a lot. In the process, your mind also transforms as you see yourself in the mirror every day. So the next pet project immediately after a break should be your body without any delay.

Related reading: How to get over the depression of breakup?

Seek help

Slipping into a spiral is another thing that doesn’t allow anyone to perform well or that which creates an obstacle in every task they undertake. Thankfully, a lot of workplaces have a counsellor or a therapist. Go and speak to them. You may also feel that by ignoring your emotions and by avoiding them you can tackle them better. But focussing on what you feel and talking about these feelings would actually help gain perspective as to why this breakup happened to you. After the initial venting about your ex-partner, when the anger and feelings of vengeance begins to dissipate, you will begin to see yourself in a newer light. Understand that whatever happened to you is an opportunity as well, for knowing yourself better.

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All this while you kept seeing and perceiving yourself through the eyes of your ex, wondering what went wrong. Speaking weekly to a professional or to a person who can have a third perspective will help you understand that it was never about them (in this case your ex), it was all about you. And it is through them now that you learn about yourself better. And once you feel yourself more in your own body than theirs, you can focus on your goals better and not make the mistake of weaving your world around them.

When someone wants to break up with you, let them go. Here’s why!

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1 Comment

  1. This is one important article. It is so easy to fall prey into the post break up trauma and ruin the professional life you have worked so hard to own! That’s why it is important to take time and take legit care of your emotional health. Getting over emotional trauma is not just a matter of time, it’s a brave choice one must make, acknowledging how precious life is and how there are so many better things to experience than to mourn over the past. Thank you for sharing the valuable insights. I will definitely carry on them to someone i feel might need. 🙂

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