It’s been said that work and personal life shouldn’t mix, but that can feel nearly impossible during times of personal crisis. It can feel very difficult to stay focused on work when problems in your personal life keep popping into your head or affecting your emotions. However, you have to perform your job functions or face serious consequences. Learning to march forward even when stress is overwhelming is key to career success. There’s no sure-fire way to push feelings aside at work; it just doesn’t work that way. But, here are some tips that may help you stay focused when it matters most.

Give Yourself Grace & Time

Give yourself some slack. Don’t add pressure and stress to your plate by feeling guilty or suppressing your emotions. If you feel a personal feeling cropping up during your workday, look at the clock and give yourself a 5 minute break to process the situation. Tell yourself that you will allow yourself to think about your problems, feel your feelings, and then get back to work at the end of your break. If you feel a negative emotion pop up outside of your break time, remind yourself that you need to focus on your job except while on breaks. Remind yourself that you are only human, and give yourself some grace.

Ask for Help

If you are cracking under the pressure, it’s okay to ask a trusted colleague or supervisor for a little help. Let them know that you could use some extra assistance right now, and that that things should go back to normal soon. They call it a “team” at work for a reason.  Most people will be happy to help out someone in their time of need. You can also ask your supervisor for a list of resources who might be able to help. Many companies offer employee assistance programs which are designed to help employees with mental and emotional health.

Take Care of Yourself

Make sure that you are getting enough sleep, eating regular meals, exercising, and taking time for yourself to relax. If you are not taking care of yourself, you will not be able to focus on work no matter what you do because your body will be aching for care. You only set yourself up to fail if you aren’t taking care of yourself properly during times of stress. Part of taking care of yourself also includes remaining positive. Don’t allow negative self-talk to ruin your mood.

Eliminate Distractions

Don’t spend your time at work texting, on your phone, or trying to care of personal issues. You should only be using your break time to handle personal matters. Do whatever it takes to eliminate your distractions. Turn off your phone, don’t check personal emails, and do what you need to do to remove reminders of your personal problems.

It can feel overwhelming when personal problems in life come crashing in and you need to be productive at work. We’re all human, and every one of us has had personal problems crop up during work. Take care of yourself, and remember that this will pass.