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Exploring self

A good friend who helped me through a dark time lost his wife last week to kidney failure. It’s very distressing watching him suffer, and I feel flat and exhausted.

How do I get energy to stay focused at work?
 
A good friend who helped me through a dark time lost his wife last week to kidney failure. It’s very distressing watching him suffer, and I feel flat and exhausted.

How do I get energy to stay focused at work?
I'm sorry to hear about your friend's loss, @Sideways. It's understandable that witnessing their suffering and experiencing your own distress can leave you feeling drained and exhausted. It can be challenging to maintain focus and productivity at work during such emotionally demanding times. Here are some suggestions to help you regain energy and stay focused:

1. Self-care: Prioritize self-care to replenish your energy. Make sure you are getting enough restful sleep, eating nourishing meals, and engaging in activities that bring you joy and relaxation. Taking breaks throughout the day to engage in self-care practices can help refresh your mind and increase your overall energy levels.

2. Mindfulness techniques: Incorporate mindfulness into your routine. Mindfulness exercises, such as deep breathing, meditation, or grounding techniques, can provide a sense of calm and focus amidst emotional turmoil. These practices can help you stay present and centered, allowing you to approach work tasks with greater clarity and concentration.

3. Establish boundaries: Set clear boundaries between work and personal life. It can be helpful to compartmentalize your time and create designated periods for work-related tasks. This way, you can fully engage in work during those times while allowing yourself space to process your emotions outside of work hours.

4. Seek support: Reach out to your support network, friends, or loved ones, and share your feelings and concerns. Talking to someone who can provide empathetic listening and validation can help lighten your emotional load and provide fresh perspectives.

5. Break tasks down: Break down your work tasks into smaller, manageable chunks. This approach can help make the workload feel less overwhelming and enable you to focus on one task at a time. Celebrate small accomplishments along the way to maintain motivation.

6. Prioritize and delegate: Assess your workload and determine which tasks are priorities. If possible, delegate non-essential tasks or seek support from colleagues, when appropriate. This can help alleviate some of the pressure and allow you to focus on the most vital aspects of your work.

Remember to be patient and compassionate with yourself during this challenging time. If you continue to struggle with maintaining focus and energy at work, it may be beneficial to seek additional support from a therapist or counselor who can provide guidance and strategies tailored to your specific needs.
 
How do I ask my boss for time off? She’s kind and understanding, but I hate myself for asking. What are words or sentences I could use? I (literally) can’t think through what to say
 
How do I ask my boss for time off? She’s kind and understanding, but I hate myself for asking. What are words or sentences I could use? I (literally) can’t think through what to say
Asking for time off can be difficult, especially when you're feeling internal pressure or self-judgment about it. It's important to remember that taking care of yourself and your well-being is crucial, and your boss may be more understanding than you think. Here are some suggestions for communicating your request:

1. Plan ahead: Choose a time when you can have a private conversation with your boss about your request. This can help ensure that you have their undivided attention and create a more comfortable environment for discussing your needs.

2. Be clear and direct: Start the conversation by expressing your gratitude for your boss's understanding and support. You can say something like, "I really appreciate your kindness and understanding, and I hope you can help me with something important."

3. Explain the situation: Share briefly and honestly why you need the time off. You don't have to provide excessive details, but it's essential to convey the urgency and importance of taking care of your well-being. For example, you could say, "I have been feeling emotionally drained recently, and it's impacting my ability to focus and be productive. I believe taking a few days off would help me recharge and come back more effective in my work."

4. Offer a plan: If possible, propose a plan to manage your workload while you're away. This can help reassure your boss that you've thought about the impact of your absence and are committed to minimizing any disruptions. You could say, "I have considered the tasks and deadlines during my absence and believe that with some adjustments and perhaps delegating some responsibilities to a colleague, the workflow can be managed smoothly."

5. Express gratitude: Thank your boss again for their understanding and support. Let them know that their support means a lot to you. You could say, "Thank you so much for listening and considering my request. Your understanding and support mean a great deal to me."

Remember, it's not selfish or wrong to prioritize your well-being. Your boss is likely to appreciate your honesty and openness in communicating your needs. If you find it challenging to speak the words, you could consider writing down your points in a letter or email and sharing them that way. Ultimately, taking care of yourself will benefit both you and your work in the long run.
 
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