Recovering from a toxic work environment is hard. Leaving behind that toxic work environment can take a toll, no matter how long you worked there. You will encounter things you need to heal from and things you need to unlearn. Of you know what it feels like to be one of the few employees who have been at a job longer than a few weeks, you’ve probably gotten stuck in a toxic work environment. Watching new people come and go at a rapid rate is one sign. Others could be back communication, poor leadership, or just a gut feeling.
The first few days after you leave may feel fantastic. You feel like you are finally free. But then, negative feelings might start to creep in. Was it something about me that made them treat me that way? Did I deserve it? Am I too sensitive? All these thoughts could be crossing your mind. Remember, you are not alone. The term “toxic work environment” exists because it happens to so many people. You are not alone in falling victim to it. Knowing you are not alone in your experience and giving yourself time to heal are essential factors in your recovery. But, like leaving any toxic relationship, it can take a tremendous toll on your mental health. Luckily, there are some things you can do to help recover from a toxic work environment.
Ways To Help Yourself Recover From A Toxic Work Environment
Face It Head-On
Many people go through a period where they feel embarrassed; they let the abuse of a toxic work environment get to them. You may not want to think of those experiences ever again and wipe them completely from your mind. Unfortunately, these feelings will keep playing in your mind until you face it. It is uncomfortable but necessary that you set aside some time to process your emotions. For some, this could be talking to a therapist or journaling. Whatever it is that helps you work through things, take some time for yourself to do it. It will significantly help you recover and put it behind you for good, as difficult as it is.
Try New Things
One telltale sign of a toxic work environment is poor work-life balance. Work-life balance is when you have time to enjoy your life every day. A toxic work environment can impact your work-life balance when working too much to have time to enjoy life. Stressing about work too much to think about anything else is also a factor of work-life balance. Both situations can be detrimental to your health and have long-lasting effects. It’s time to remind yourself that there’s a world beyond your toxic workplace. One way to do this is by getting back out there and trying new things. Take this time to pursue an interest or hobby that you put on the backburner. Is there something you always wanted to do but never had time for? Make time for yourself now and help yourself recover. When you learn new things that you enjoy doing and are good at, you will rebuild that confidence you lost. This is a huge step to recover from a toxic work environment.
Have A Support System
Like any of life’s difficulties, you want to face it with a support system. When negative self-talk creeps in, your support system can tell you it’s not your fault. Lean on your friends and family during this time of transition. It might also be a good idea, depending on the circumstance, to keep in touch with old colleagues. Many people will stay at a lousy job too long because a person or two makes it seem like it’s worth it. You may feel a pull because of a coworker who has become a friend. Keep in mind; there is no need to leave the right people behind. It’s perfectly acceptable to keep up relationships with old colleagues. Just don’t fall into the cycle of reliving the toxic job events you are trying to recover from. Also, consider any trustworthy people you may use as a professional reference and make sure you stay in touch with them to help you in the future.
Did Your Toxic Work Environment Go Too Far?
Not every instance of a toxic work environment is grounds for litigation. You could be experiencing a toxic work environment from entirely legal things, like poor communication, bad leadership, or no opportunities for growth. These are certainly all signs that you should look elsewhere for employment. But, there are times when a toxic work environment crosses into illegal territory. Suppose you felt uncomfortable at your job because your boss discriminated against you. In that case, that is illegal and could be punishable by law. Maybe you didn’t leave by choice and were terminated for factors out of your control. Ensure you know your employment rights. While recovering from a toxic work environment is hard and uncomfortable, your boss breaking employment laws is illegal and should be prosecuted by law.