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How you can recover from a toxic work environment

a woman with a beautiful afro and glasses looking at her computer. She wears a white shirt and a black blazer. The background is wood.

Have you ever had a work environment so toxic, that you have to process everything that happens with your coworkers, excoriating the wrong-doers until you feel better? You might have left a job with a toxic work environment, or you might leave it soon, nevertheless, it is important that you heal yourself after such change in your life.

You might be wondering how your sunny first beliefs about this job crumbled away in the harsh reality, as people showed their true faces and negativity.

Probably you kept asking yourself, why am I going to this job that I hate? How it was getting harder to get out of bed in the morning. Or even, “All jobs are the same!”

If you’re despairing, you need healing after leaving a toxic job. Think about how that workplace has affected you, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. With the prospect of leaving it all behind, do you feel liberated and joyful, or has the negative energy of your workplace rubbed off on you, leaving you feeling exhausted and deflated?

In this post I’ll provide you 4 tips that will help you to heal your mind and start recovering your balance.

  1. Feel your feelings to heal from leaving a toxic environment
  2. Connect with your beliefs/values
  3. Confront your blind beliefs
  4. Journal every morning, to heal after leaving a toxic job

TIP 1: FEEL YOUR FEELINGS TO HEAL FROM LEAVING A TOXIC ENVIRONMENT

“I just want to cry” “I just want to scream” “I just want to hide somewhere”.

Acknowledging our feelings and accepting them is a necessary step in order to heal from any toxic environment or toxic feeling that might be affecting our mental health. By accepting our feelings without trying to suppress them, we can understand that these negative feelings won’t last long and we can start our recovery from a toxic work environment.

When you address your feelings, I suggest you to read The Woman’s Comfort Book by Jennifer Louden.

This book has 5-10 minute tools you can use to start to reclaim your space, your feelings, thoughts, and beliefs. Everything from bubble baths to mini-rituals to make yourself feel good again. Highly recommended.

You can also look at the Feelings Wheel, I have it as a background on my phone, and a magnet on my fridge. Each morning when I wake up, I ask myself, how am I feeling today? And I wait to feel inside for the answer.

feelings or emotions wheel, a rainbow wheel with feelings ranging from sad to happy and nuanced to other feelings.

TIP 2: CONNECT WITH YOUR BELIEFS / VALUES

“I don’t believe that there are any good bosses.” “I’m such a lazy, dumb worker, I deserved all of the abuse that boss gave me.”

First of all, No you didn’t deserve any of that. Everyone deserves respect at work. When you start to address your beliefs, read You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay and The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.

Louise Hay’s book will help you if you have any beliefs that are holding you back, and help you step into a healthier world.

Don Miguel Ruiz says that “Nothing is personal, neither praise nor blame.” This means that when your boss called you names, at the work environment, it was not about you. It was about your boss. Also, when people praised you, it was about them, not about you. So don’t take anything personally, and you’ll have more equilibrium in work situations. Ruiz says, “Always do your best.” “Be Impeccable with your word” and “Don’t make assumptions.” So remember that last one when you think there are no good bosses. There have GOT to be. Statistically. But don’t assume anyone is a bad boss until you’ve worked with them. Give them the benefit of the doubt.

TIP 3: CONFRONT YOUR BLIND BELIEFS

a black woman with a beautiful afro doing yoga on a grey mat, surrounded by plants, a water bottle and some weights.
A beautiful black woman doing yoga

“There are too many people competing for shitty jobs! Bosses can treat people like crap and they can’t do anything but hang onto the job because they’re too scared they won’t find another one!”

When you start to address your blind beliefs, read Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore and Uncharitable by Dan Pallotta. Dan Pallotta talks about nonprofit dysfunctions, and can help you address what may be holding your old organization back, and the sector as a whole. It can be very healing to name and claim what’s been going on, what’s making your nonprofit so dysfunctional, and the people in it so dysfunctional. So even if you can’t take back the months or years you spent there, knowing it was a systemic problem instead of just you can be comforting.

Work ethic: “Why should I work hard for anyone after this terrible experience? Won’t everyone just take advantage of my good nature? Is it even worth it to look for a job in this field?”

When you start to address your work ethic, read “How to Be, Do, or Have Anything You Want” by Laurence Boldt, or “How to Make a Living Without a Job” by Barbara Winter. You can start to realize that there are a lot of things that you can do, that you don’t HAVE to have a job, as long as you are willing to work hard, and possibly deny yourself status symbols that other people seem to prize, like brand new BMWs, or a 3 story 4 bedroom house. By reading these books, it will help you to realize what you want and what you NEED are two very different things, and if you WANT to work for yourself, you don’t NEED to have all of these status symbols, because doing what you love all day satisfies your craving to be happy more than THINGS ever could.

Remember, your mental health and peace of mind are extremely valuable. It is time to face your blind beliefs, and bear in mind that those beliefs appeared due to a toxic work environment, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that these circumstances will repeat themselves.

TIP 4: JOURNAL EVERY MORNING TO HEAL AFTER LEAVING A TOXIC JOB

Recovery journaling is an important process when recovering from leaving a toxic work environment. It doesn’t matter how long it may take you, just do it every single morning. There are no other rules except that you fill up 3 pages, longhand. No checking email, voicemail, texts. Just journal there in bed.

Some questions you might answer when journaling:

  • Where am I at right now, physically? Emotionally?
  • What’s my outlook, my assumption as I respond to daily events? Am I assuming the best? The worst?
  • How clear is my thinking? Am I distracted easily? Can I concentrate on what I used to enjoy?
  • What did my sense of purpose used to be? What is it or where is it now?
  • What can I do to feel joy every day? Draw a picture? Sing a song in the shower? Walk my dog?
  • What one change can I make right now that will help me feel good in this moment?
  • What can I do to take care of myself today?

Bear in mind that there is no right or wrong answer, anything that you journal about is valid and it will also help you to recognize your emotions as suggested in our first tip of this article.

KEY TAKEAWAY:

I hope that these 4 tips on learning how to recover after leaving a toxic work environment will help you for healing in case you ever need it. Remember that your feelings are valid and recognizing that any toxic traits that you might have experiences has nothing to do with you, but instead speaks more about the person who generated the discomfort.

You CAN definitely recover from that toxic work environment. And if you need any help, I’m here for you!

Learning about your Human Design and your Gene Keys can help you feel more capable and hopeful in the recovery process of healing after leaving a toxic workplace.

Interested in knowing more about Human Design? In the video below, I share a session that I prepared on Gene Keys to know yourself.

Human Design and the Gene Keys

Interested in receiving the reading of your own Human Design Genes? Go here to get a reading.

Ready to start looking for a new better and fantastic job but need more support? You can count on me, book a free consultation with me by clicking the following link,

Book a free call with me.

Get this Fundraising career empowerment Guide Book and land the right job for you

Get the Job!”

You will get a clear roadmap to succeeding in your fundraising career.

get the Job your fundraising career empowerment guide, a blue book with blue and red writing, with a white image of a woman putting her hand in the air. Book by Mazarine Treyz

In case you are still working at your current fundraising job and you’re being overworked and underpaid, I recommend you to read this post where I share with you a sample of a letter that you can send to your boss.

Other links you might find useful:

If you want 65 more fundraising career resources, just go here.

If you want 99 more nonprofit leadership resources, click on over here.

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