The last few months of living in a COVID-crazy world have clearly shown us that the intersection of our personal and professional lives can cause a lot of stress. Anyone working from home with children as “co-workers” can tell you it’s tough! And when you add a divorce into the mix, it can be difficult to keep your home life separate from your work life -- unless you follow these tips on how to deal with divorce at work:
Know whom to tell.
Your entire office does not need to know your personal business, but there are a few people you should tell about your divorce. Since there will be times during the work week when you will need to schedule meetings with your attorney, participate in mediation, or go to court, you should let your immediate supervisor know so he or she can anticipate these necessary absences. And since your divorce can affect your benefits plan, your HR department should be notified as well. You don’t have to share all the gory details; you only need to say that your marriage is ending and leave it at that.
Simplify the process.
Divorce is difficult enough by itself, which is why you want to find a divorce attorney you connect with and who you can rely on to give you the information you need to feel more in control of the process. You will need to know what lies ahead so you can manage your work schedule. Also, knowing what to expect will help you manage stress at home and at work.
Simplify your workload.
When a personal crisis hits, many of us tend to sublimate our feelings by taking on more at work to keep our minds off our problems. However, this can backfire if we can take on more than we can handle. During this highly emotional time in your life, give yourself permission to decline taking on additional tasks that will increase your stress levels.
Leave drama at the office door.
When there is upheaval in your personal life, it can be hard to focus on work. The best thing you can do to remedy this is to leave divorce drama at the office door. This can be difficult since so many of us work with people we consider friends. Those friends will probably want to help by encouraging you to talk about your divorce, but tread lightly. Yes, keeping your personal life private may be a bit difficult, but try to come up with a general answer that will discourage these discussions in the workplace.
Try to reduce your stress level.
Emotions can run high even in the most amicable divorces, which can cause you to get upset over even the smallest irritation -- something you don’t want to happen at work. Finding even small ways to reduce your stress level at work -- taking regular breaks to just get up and walk around, listening to your favorite music, or simply go outside during lunch -- can help you focus better on your work rather than your divorce.