Protecting your energy at work
Do you often feel like your workplace environment brings you down? Do you wake up energized but leave work feeling wiped out, mentally exhausted, and emotionally drained? Have you isolated yourself from your coworkers and still feel super unmotivated? Does this bother you because you actually like your job? If so, you are suffering from EVSD: Energy Vampire Stress Disorder.*
EVSD is rampant in workplace settings and it sucks the energy right out of you. Energy Vampires gossip non-stop about coworkers, blame others for their own mistakes, and are usually complaining about something: the traffic, the weather, their family, your family, the city, the country, Planet Earth. And even though you've always been focused on what's good, you've somehow developed EVSD.
EVSD occurs when you're exposed to Energy Vampires every day. It impacts your home life, your relationships, and your physical health. Quality of sleep, appetite, concentration, work performance -- it all takes a hit. Fortunately, we can treat EVSD. Read on.
For starters, here's something important for you to know: When a coworker has a chronic negative mindset, guess what? It has nothing to do with you. Maybe that person is dealing with a world of hurt/fear/anger and they don't realize how they're affecting others. Or they don't care. All the same, you're not responsible for them. You are not the Chief Mood Officer. Your responsibility is for your thoughts, emotions, and behavior.
We tend to develop EVSD when too much negativity throws us off course, disconnecting us from our own value system. We begin to focus on what we don't like and don't want. Or we fixate on how the Energy Vampire needs to change.We forget that we have a say in the matter, a way of impacting our workplace for the good. Maybe we forget because it's simply easier to walk away or isolate ourselves. But do you want to feel drained every single day? No, I didn't think so.
Start focusing on what's important to you and go from there. As an example, if it's a sense of community and a happy workplace that you want, ask yourself if your behavior supports that kind of positive environment. I'm not referring to being an outgoing, extroverted, life-of-the-party kind of person; I'm referring to being an authentic person who is true to your own values.
If your nature is to be kind, then show kindness. Why stop in the face of negativity? If being thoughtful comes easily to you, be considerate with everyone, even and especially with Energy Vampires. Why them? Because everyone is fighting some kind of internal battle and it's not for us to play judge. Maybe your kindness and consideration will become useful tools the Energy Vampire can use to fight their battles. You never know what kind of impact your good nature will have on someone, but it definitely won't hurt. And best of all, being authentic to who you are is the ultimate cure for EVSD.
Try it for a day and see what happens. Reach out to me if you want to share your experience, or if you have a well-being question for a future issue of this newsletter. Have an amazing day!
Born in Los Angeles and raised in Miami, Yvonne Castaneda is a Behavioral Health Clinician in the Adult Medicine Department at EBNHC. She holds a master's degree in social work from Boston College and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Yvonne is also a certified life coach, personal trainer, and yoga instructor. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.