How To Deal With A Toxic Work Environment

By Danielle Wirsansky on April 3, 2021

Almost everyone has (unfortunately) had to deal with a toxic work environment. It kind of sucks when toxic work environments are the norm. But when you have a toxic work environment, it is important to find ways to deal with and cope with the situation so that you can either 1) keep your sanity 2) keep your job or 3) give yourself time to find an out.

The easiest way to deal with a toxic work environment is to quit, but we may not all have the luxury to do so for whatever reason. So if you need to hang on and hang tough, then read on for some strategies to help you deal with a toxic work environment.

Photo by from Pexels

Digitally Disconnect

The first and perhaps easiest thing that you can do to help yourself deal with a toxic work environment is to disconnect from your work digitally, across all platforms. At night, turn your notifications off when you go to sleep so that you are actually able to sleep and will not be woken up by emails, texts, and phone calls that you should not be getting or looking at when you are not on the clock.

Another strategy is to take your work email off your phone. You should not be reading and writing emails when you are home from work. You are not being compensated for your time. And you should not be stressing over work during the precious little time you have off. Even seeing the emails come in can be stressful enough without opening them. Avoid the work, avoid the stress, and avoid the temptation—take the email off your phone.

In the same vein, if your work uses any kind of messaging platform likes Slack or WhatsApp, mute the conversations from work when you leave the premises. If you can, do not have them on your phone at all so that you will not be bombarded with messages and notifications while you are at home. When you are at work, you can have it open on a work computer or something similar, but it should not really be necessary to keep it on your phone. If you feel like it is, at least mute it while you are home.

Sometimes even seeing the people from work or the social media pages of the company you work for while in your private time can be stressful and triggering. Another way to deal with it is to unfriend or unfollow your workplace or coworkers so that you can truly digitally disconnect from your work in your off-time.

Keep a Journal

Toxic workplaces can leave you looking for both an outlet to vent your frustrations and a way to record or track your grievances and experiences. Why not kill two birds with one stone and do both at the same time by keeping a workplace journal?

When you are feeling stressed out, you can journal your feelings and work out why you feel that way and what might help you improve. If an incident occurs at work, you can detail the experience while it is fresh in your mind and keep the details of what happened handy should you need them. You can also track your own work and what you are doing to help defend and prove your accomplishments and to leave a trail of what you have done to help ward off false accusations or mistakes.

Journaling and tracking your work is a valid use of your work time so do not feel like this is something you can only do on your own time and not at work—it is about work and it is improving your work, so it is work. Do it at work! Though you might not want to keep your journal laying around prying eyes.

Stress Outlets

The final strategy that you can use to deal with a toxic work environment is to find healthy outlets in which to relieve that stress. Go hiking. Walk on the beach. Meet up with friends. Make time for your family and pets. Read a book. Color in a coloring book. Pick up a new skill or hobby. Knit a scarf. Crochet a hat. Find something that you can do just for you, that makes you happy and feeds your soul. That way you can shake off the trials and tribulations of work and keep yourself as happy and healthy as you can, keeping yourself strong for every time you have to go into a toxic work environment.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Toxic work environments can take a lot out of you, so finding strategies to help you cope with them as you encounter them can be really integral to keeping yourself happy and healthy when you have to stay at a job that makes you unhappy.

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