I’m admittedly a person with big feelings. You might even go so far as to say I’m an empath. I take a lot in, which can be a total asset. It makes me actually feel what our social media communities feel. However, it means that I can also get emotional. Sometimes about random things. If I compiled a list of all the things I was emotional over during my pregnancy, you’d get a good laugh. I know I would.
Sometimes these big feelings get in the way though. For example, I like to have an emotion in mind when I am writing for a client so I can get the proper voice. If I’m feeling something else, I have to figure out how to shove it aside so I can get to the actual emotion I need to be feeling. It’s a process.
But luckily, I overshare, so here is what I do when I am feeling a little too emotional for work.
Lean Into the Emotional
Here’s the thing about emotions: If you stuff them down, they’re going to pop back up at an inappropriate time and it will likely be even worse.
When I know that I am feeling an emotion that I know is only going to snowball, I set a timer. It’s usually five to ten minutes depending on what’s going on. And then I let the emotion loose. I observe it. Then I step inside of it and let it overtake me. I discover where the emotion is in my body. I just let the whole experience happen. It sounds a little hokey, but it doesn’t have to be. Do what the moment calls for, like journalling or just a simple cry.
But when the timer goes off, the emotion stops.
I then observe how I’m feeling. Did that time give me the release I needed? Or is there still more to be explored? If there is more, I look in my schedule and I put time in to do it all again. However, I try to leave room just in case I need to repeat the exercise again.
The key to leaving room is by looking at my tasks. What work can’t get done because of my emotions? Is there anything that can be done regardless of how I am feeling? And what has to be done today?
Fully let go of the idea that you can get everything done. You need to create a space to help you get through this.
But you might not. If you leave time to go through your emotional journey in little droplets throughout the day, you may end up back in neutral faster than you think possible. And if you don’t…
We’re all emotional beings trying to get through life. Thankfully there are so many things you can do to make sure that there is always room for what you need as a human:
- Working at least a day ahead on content: I’ve seen way too many people doing things at the absolute last minute when it comes to social. The toll that takes on you is bigger than you think and will make it harder and harder for you to take care of yourself. Always be at least a day ahead of what you need to do just in case the world falls out from under you. If you’re finding it difficult to get there, just focus on adding one task to your list every day. It doesn’t even need to be a big task. But the little extra bites off of your to-do list will eventually get you there.
- Do your emotional work when you are already feeling that emotion: Like I said, I keep an emotion in mind when I am working on client work. That requires calling up the emotion, which frankly takes time. So if I am already authentically feeling it for whatever reason, I put aside other work to do what that emotion calls for.
- Define what an emergency actually is: Like I said, doing everything last minute is going to eat away at your time and your energy. So putting up the boundary about what emergency last minute content is and what it is not will help your coworkers understand what is an acceptable working relationship and what is not. I assure you that setting this boundary will then allow you to get good work done in an optimal emotional state.
In the end, it helps to understand that we are all human and because of that, we need to leave room for our human needs. Yes, in the fast paced world of social media, that’s difficult, but it is doable.
So what do you do when you are feeling too emotional for work?