What Can You Do When You’re Just Feeling Off?

I knocked over my glass of water for the third time, and spent 10 minutes looking for my keys… which were in my hand. “I’m just off today,” I muttered to myself. But “off” from what? What does that odd feeling of just not feeling right mean to you? How do you know when you’re “off?”

For some people, “being off” means feeling like their emotions are a bit off kilter: Emotional reactions seeming much bigger or dramatic than the circumstances warrant. For others, their thinking is out of alignment. Whatever the cues or symptoms, the key to identifying an “off” feeling is the ability to know when you’re not firing on all cylinders.

Glasses sitting on a notepad with wads of crumpled up paper scattered as worker struggles with feeling off

Only then can you can make the choices that will get you back on track.

If you caught a cold, you would slow down, drink more fluids, rest more, and generally take care of yourself until you start to feel better. How is your mental health and focus any different?

If you notice that your focus or emotions are off or that, for whatever reason, you are not quite balanced, there are productive things you can do to make yourself feel better, and there are unproductive things that may make you feel worse.

Unproductive things to do when “feeling off”

  • Be hard on yourself in any way
  • Be hard on others
  • Focus on other people and their shortcomings
  • Make major decisions
  • Get into arguments
  • Focus on important plans, strategies, or life changes
  • Think about your life, relationships, career, really anything of importance, and analyze what’s wrong about these areas and what should be done about them
  • Do tasks, errands, or work that you find draining
  • Take on or begin a new project or life change
  • Allow yourself to do negative self-talk (beating yourself up through internal dialogue)

Productive things to do when “feeling off”

  • Be good to yourself
  • Take a bath
  • Meditate
  • Find a creative outlet, and use it
  • Eat food that is nourishing and good for your body
  • Slow down and bring more mindfulness to the details of this-now-moment
  • Take time to check in and see if your body has a need that is not being met: rest, hydration, nourishment, connection with others, etc
  • Encourage an attitude of softness
  • Take a walk in nature or go hiking
  • Go to a museum
  • Go see a movie
  • Get a massage or go soak at a local spa
  • Curl up in bed with a good book
  • Listen to music that soothes or pleases you
  • Remove some things from your schedule on those days.
  • Take a “mental health” day from work
  • Ask for help or support
  • Communicate to those around you that you aren’t at your best (if this is appropriate)
  • Set boundaries…say no…
  • Allow your self-talk (internal dialogue) to be kind and soothing
  • Treat yourself how you might treat a child if they were not feeling well.

Bottom line is that when we are in a tender, raw, or emotional space, for whatever reason, this is when to let up and take it easy. It may seem counter-intuitive, but slowing down when you need to, but don’t want to, will help you maintain your core strength, and allow you to be kind to yourself and others.

For more information and tips on work productivity and career advice, visit our blog. To book a consultation, click here.

How to Know if You’re Making the Wrong Career Move

Imagine you are facing a major career decision. A new opportunity arose that would increase your engagement and give you more autonomy. Taking it however means leaving a job that you’ve enjoyed, focusing on a different type of work, and facing a substantial learning curve. Uncertain, you almost miss the window to apply… What do you do?

One of the biggest doubts that gnaws at a decision maker’s peace of mind, is worrying about making the wrong move. What if I take this new job and regret it? What if I’m not prepared enough to move up? What if I strike out on my own and fail? Just how, exactly, can you tell if you’re about to make a wrong move? Like many things in your professional life, there’s no black and white when it comes to making a bold career-changing pivot. But the following three questions may help you work through your concerns. (Of course, if your circumstances are complex, it’s time to schedule with one of our career coaches.)

1. Do You Have a Sense of Foreboding?

Do you feel a tiny lingering sense of dread when you think about the new opportunity? Maybe your potential boss minimized some of your accomplishments in the interview, making you wonder if your work won’t be valued in the new space. Or maybe you met the team, and while they were polite, they also seemed a bit tightly-wound, making you wonder how they handle a tough deadline or if this is the culture of the department.

Think you would just walk away if you encountered red flags like these? Don’t kid yourself—there are plenty of reasons we ignore warning bells, like a bigger paycheck, higher status, or the opportunity to live in a great location. But, if you see these signs, you shouldn’t overlook them simply because you want to make more money. A nagging unease or feeling of discomfort could be your big brain’s way of letting you know that you’re not ready or that it’s not the best option.

Look, it’s inevitable that a career change is going to create some anxiety. (If it doesn’t, check your pulse!) You don’t need to automatically turn down a great offer if you’re feeling nervous, but you should try to determine if it’s more than just butterflies. Ask yourself, “Am I uncomfortable about something that’s happened in this process, or am I just nervous at the thought of change?”

2. Are You Feeling Desperate?

If you’re in a crummy situation and you hate your job, and you get a chance to make a change, there’s a chance you might make the jump just to escape your current situation. Make sure you’re approaching the decision with a clear head so you can determine if the new opportunity actually offers something better or if it just seems that way. Remember that you need to vet this new opportunity. You need to assess if this new company, culture, team, management, product, is an actual fit for you and sets you up for success.

If you can’t find that clear headspace on your own, talk to someone. When you feel panicky, it’s incredibly difficult to maintain perspective. Someone on the outside, someone who doesn’t have your emotional attachment to the situation, can often be of enormous help. A trusted friend, mentor, or career coach can help you recognize and sort through your options.

3. Are You Trying to Spite Someone?

You’re not the only one who’s dreamed of getting an incredible opportunity to rub in that colleague’s smug face. But, c’mon now, that’s obviously a terrible reason to actually make a career move. If you let them drive your decision, you’re giving them control, and it’s unlikely that the decision is truly what’s best for you and your professional trajectory.

If you can remain secure and productive in your role, you’ll ultimately have more control, and eventually, new doors will open for you, giving you the chance to evaluate your options objectively.

Here’s a final nugget to bear in mind when wrestling with a major career decision: If you truly know what is a fit for you, if you know what you need in a career to thrive, and you have vetted the company, your potential co-workers and boss, the culture, then you are likely to make a good, solid decision. Still wondering “Am I making the fight decision?” Ask our award-winning coaches at the Ignite Your Potential Centers who all offer a complimentary 25-minute phone session to help. We are the #1 career coaches in San Francisco and Los Angeles, let us show you how we earned that praise.

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Turn Your Bad Day Around

“So you had a bad day. Don’t let it spiral you into a mindset of doom and gloom. Get back in your power. Remember you are who you choose to be.”-Karen Salmansohn

Bad days happen. However, if you start to label too many days disagreeable this can cause a lack of productivity. At Ignite Your Potential we often recite the phrase “don’t let a bad 10 minutes ruin your entire day.” Letting a negative moment define a whole day is not only unfair, it can lead to missed opportunities, and distract from your day’s purpose. Continue reading to discover strategies that can improve your rough days. 

Accept Reality

Accepting the reality of your situation doesn’t mean you’re stuck or a failure. The sooner you acknowledge the problem the faster you can find a solution. Denying or pushing away the negative feelings you are experiencing will only delay the process. 

Consider Repeating Out Loud:

  • I acknowledge this is my situation
  • Even though I have a problem, I am okay
  • I have the power to change my situation 

Change Your Point of View

After you’ve accepted your current situation, attempt to transform your viewpoint into one that benefits you. For example, if you’ve been taking punch after punch all day. You may begin with a negative outlook at think something like, “This is happening to me because I’m not good enough.” Change your perspective by reframing your internal dialogue, “This can make me stronger, more resilient, and prepared to turn challenges into future success.” Small changes, like a reframe, will make a substantial difference in your ability to conquer bad days.

Consider:

  • Asking yourself: is this productive thinking? Does it serve me?
  • Visualize other perspectives
  • Focus on what is in your power
  • Use productive and positive language when you’re talking to yourself

Take a Break 

Attempting to work while your mind is overflowing with negative thoughts is ineffective and will reduce productivity. A study conducted by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign concluded that brief diversions from a task can dramatically improve one’s ability to focus on that task for prolonged periods. Time off is necessary to regroup to get your mind back on track.

Consider:

  • Talking to a friend or family member
  • Meditating 
  • Moving your body, go for a walk, stretch, exercise

Socialize

There are many studies that show the emotional support you give and get during connections with friends and family enhances psychological well-being. When you are feeling down, reach out to the people who love and want to support you. 

Consider:

  • Visiting your neighborhood coffee shop
  • Making plans with friends or family
  • Volunteering

Are bad days seem to be occurring more often? Ignite Your Potential Center coaches will provide you with emotional support and skills that will help you achieve your goals. We are the #1 coaches in San Francisco and Los Angeles, let us show you how we earned that praise. All of the award-winning coaches at the Ignite Your Potential Centers offer a complimentary 25-minute phone session, see if we are the right fit for you.

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Stuck in a Work Rut? Get Out of It!

Before you start looking for a new job, try these four ideas for getting your head back in the game and rediscover your sense of being centered and empowered.

Figure Out the Root of the Problem

Before you can get out of a rut, you have to figure out why you’re in it. This means self-evaluating. When did you start feeling this way? Was it after a poorly received presentation? A change in responsibilities? Also, keep in mind that the cause might not have anything to do with work. Once you identify the cause of your unhappiness, you will be better able to handle it.

Focus on Self-Care

Taking care of yourself can solve a lot of smaller problems. That means making sure you’re getting enough sleep, exercising, and eating right. At work, take breaks and make it a point to eat lunch away from your computer screen. Self-care is a part of self-management and building resilience.

Remember Why You Wanted the Job

It’s easy to forget why you were excited about your role or the company in the beginning. Take the time to remember the reason this job is important to your big picture strategic plan.

Take a Break

Even if you can’t swing a weeklong trip, plan a quick weekend getaway. Getting out of your routine can clear your mind and help you refocus. It can seem counter-intuitive, but we need rest to allow our brain to recover. We will be sharper upon our return.

After reading this article if you are inspired to take your career to the next level, remember that all of the award-winning coaches at the Ignite Your Potential Centers offer a complimentary 25-minute phone session to help you meet your life goals and career goals. We are the #1 career coaches in San Francisco and Los Angeles, let us show you how we earned that praise.

Seven Signs You’re Experiencing Job Burn Out

We’ve all been there. You get a job that you really wanted, and you put everything you have into it. You work late. You obsess over every little detail. You volunteer for projects you don’t really have time to do. You want everything to be perfect. You want to make a difference.

But what happens when the job that you worked so hard for starts affecting you in negative ways? How do you know if you’re just in a rut or if you’re experiencing job burn out?

Here are seven signs that it may be time to step back and take a break:

1.Your Job Becomes Annoying

If you find yourself annoyed by a job you use to love, you may be facing job burnout. Meetings, deadlines, and even your co-workers may become hard to bear. You might even feel trapped and unappreciated in your current position

job burn out

2. Exhaustion

Are you tired all the time and catch yourself napping after work more often than you use to? You may oversleep and arrive late to work due to overwhelming exhaustion. This is a clear sign that you’re pushing yourself too hard.

3. Lack of Enthusiasm

Do you find yourself not wanting to do activities you use to enjoy? It’s a possibility that you’re even avoiding friends and family because you don’t want to make excuses about why you’d rather hang out at home than go out on a Friday night.

4. You’re Irritable

If you’re unhappy with your work life, it can begin affecting your personal life too. You may find yourself being short-tempered and responding in a less than polite way to your friends and family.

5. Cognitive Problems

Do you find it hard to concentrate? Feeling unfocused and dissociated from life can be a side effect of working too hard. Burnout can have you making mistakes at work, you may become forgetful, and miss that 9 a.m. meeting.

6. Neglecting Yourself

With burn out, you may neglect yourself in favor of dedicating yourself to your job. You may skip lunch to work on that important project and meet the deadline, or you may comfort yourself with food. Self-medicating with drugs and alcohol is also a danger. Unwinding with an occasional glass of wine is fine, but overindulging is a problem. You may notice that you’re not doing the self-care habits. Suddenly putting off the very things that help you recharge and be your best.

7. Your Health is Declining

Pushing yourself too hard can have a negative affect on your health, and this is probably the most serious sign that you’re experiencing burn out. Ways that burn out can affect your health are:

  • Headaches
  • High blood pressure
  • Weight gain
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Frequent colds
  • Depression
  • Feelings of Apathy

How Do I Fight Burn Out?

If you think you’re experiencing burn out, you need to dial it back at work. Don’t take on extra projects that you know will stress you out. Take your breaks: having a few minutes to unwind and center yourself can release the tension that had built up throughout the day.

It’s also important to have a support system.  Your family and friends are there for you, so don’t feel guilty about confiding in them if you’re having a hard time.

job burn out

Take care of yourself. Getting an adequate amount of rest is vital when attempting to overcome job burn out. Make sure to take regular days off to do what you enjoy, and, if you’re stressed out, don’t overindulge in activities that are not sustainable and actually deplete you.

At Ignite Your Potential, we work with clients who are experiencing burn out. We help them make the adjustments they need in order to get things back on track. In some cases, we help clients transition into a new role, better suited to their strengths. Whatever type of help you need regarding your career we can be there for you. Click here to schedule a complimentary initial 25 minute phone session with the coach of your choice.