How-To Guide: Keeping Yourself Focused at Work After Suffering a Loss or Heartbreak


Life is unpredictable and, unfortunately, that means that there are going to be times where it feels like everything in the world is working against you. Regardless of if you’ve lost a loved one, or you’re suffering through a painful breakup, working through that pain can prove to be extremely challenging. You might have already taken some time off to grieve and dig into ice cream and listen to sad music, but eventually you need to return to your everyday hustle. So, how do you do continue to work even when you’re busy trying to mend the pieces of a shattered heart when it feels impossible?

All areas of your life are interconnected, and when something happens in one, it might negatively impact the other, but that doesn’t mean you can’t persevere.

It might not be something that you realize, but your work life is an area that gets disrupted the most by a breakup because of the changes happening in your brain. You shouldn’t beat yourself up if you’re feeling a bit distracted at the office. Anthropologists have studied the brain in love and were able to determine that love activates the same region of the brain that addiction does, so when you go through a loss or breakup, your brain treats it as withdrawal, which highly affects your ability to stay focused and get motivated.

Here are five ways to help you heal your heart while still being able to remain focused while you’re at work. Professionals lives won’t sit around and wait for hearts to improve, and work needs to get done regardless of what’s happening in your personal life. You can use these methods to help you stay focused and reignite the fire that keeps you interested in your career so you don’t fall down a slippery slope that can prove extremely difficult to come back from.

Set Aside Blocks of Time to Feel Sadness

Heartbreak hurts, there’s no doubt about it, and it’s only natural that you want to avoid the pain for as long as possible because it’s an uncomfortable feeling. However, grief does have a process. The longer that you avoid the pain you’re feeling, the more detrimental it’s going to be to both your personal and your professional life. At some point, the emotion is going to control you if you don’t confront it. It’s recommended that you set aside specific blocks of time where you allow yourself to feel the full brunt of the pain you’re going through. This way, if you experience a surge of emotions while you’re at work, you don’t have to feel guilty about swallowing them back because you know you can tend to them at a later time.

Give Yourself That Morning Pep Talk

When you suffer any type of loss, it’s natural that you end up with unanswered questions, and sometimes experience broken confidence, along with a broken heart. The questions that you build up in your heart can transcend into the workplace if you aren’t careful. If you give yourself a positive pep talk every morning, you’re ensuring that you aren’t focusing on the negatives, and ensuring that you’re building your confidence back up, instead of down. It’s not impossible to get caught in a situation where you might convince yourself that you’re not good enough because of a failed relationship. Implementing positive mantras at the start of the day is going to give you a confidence boost, and can help to remind you that you’re not the only person suffering.

Don’t Speak About Your Loss at Work

When you’ve been at a company for a long time, it’s likely that you’ve developed close relationships with your colleagues. In instances such as that, your coworkers and even your management staff are probably going to want to be there for you during your difficult time. While there isn’t anything wrong with that, it’s suggested that you avoid talking about the intimate details of your loss at the workplace. Leaving your personal life at the door could be a way to give your mind and heart a break while you work through the painful events happening in your life, and if you start to rehash the details with coworkers at the office, it’s not going to be a distraction for you. It’s best to thank your colleagues for their support and let them know that you appreciate their kindness, but that you think it’s best if you don’t talk about the details at the office.

Remove Any Reminders from Your Work Space

Personalizing your workspace is a common occurrence and something many people recommend doing to help make you feel more comfortable in the space you work in. Experts suggest clearing your workspace of any reminders that could trigger an adverse reaction or upset you while you’re at work. For example, if you’ve just suffered the heartbreak that comes from the loss of a loved one or a breakup, it might be a good idea to remove any lingering photographs from your desk. The move doesn’t need to be permanent, either. You can just pack the items into a box and move them out of sight until you’re confident that looking at them while you work won’t cause a negative response.

Get Clear, and Do It on Purpose

Studies suggest that if you return to work while you’re still in the midst of your healing process, you get presented with opportunities to look at yourself on a deeper level, and even make changes in areas that you’ve always wanted to change. You can focus on yourself while you’re healing by asking questions such as ‘Is this job really important to me?’, ‘Is there something else that I would rather do with my career?’, ‘Is this where I see myself in ten years?” Focusing on the bigger picture is not only going to help your heart heal from what’s hurting you emotionally, but it’s going to help you focus on your everyday tasks, and help you to uncover who you are as a person.

There are many types of pain in the world, and all of them can affect you differently. Heartache is some of the most distracting, especially when it comes to work and focusing on tasks that need undivided attention. While some people are capable of using work and other projects to keep their mind off of what they’re coping with personally, others require some help. By using the suggestions above, you can make it easier for yourself to get your work done, not be faced with consistent reminders, and put yourself in a healthy position to move forward with your life after heartache.

No matter what it is that you’re going through, there is help available to you. If you find that you’re unable to use your work as a distraction and that you simply can’t focus on the emotional weight on your shoulders, it’s a good idea to consult with your management or human resources staff. They might be able to set you up with counselors who can make the process just that much easier for you.


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How-To Guide: Keeping Yourself Focused at Work After Suffering a Loss or Heartbreak

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