Your place of work can serve as a safe haven: a place of routine, busy tasks, familiar faces and friendships, all a great place to distract you from whatever it is you’re dealing with in your personal life. In my years of bartending, I’ve learned no soul is exempt from troubles - none of them. People are either going into a crisis or coming out of a crisis in their relationships, finances, family, career or health. No one is skating through life on rainbows and sunshine all the time, so if troubles are inevitable, it makes sense to have a plan to deal with our problems without letting it affect our work performance (tips!). This was always easy for me because I love my job. I enjoy bartending/serving and my bar is my safe space. I’m happy to see my customers and fall into my routine of taking orders, serving drinks and cleaning. Here are some things I do make sure my drama stays at the door before coming in to work.
- · If my relationship was on the rocks I would arrive to work and say out loud and very loudly “Ok!!!! I will deal with this later. This is not going to get in the way of my money right now.” Say what you want, but affirmations when said out loud and in front of a mirror actually work. So try to be convincing.
- · Playing some of your favorite music loudly and “fake it till you make it” is a real thing. Get your body moving and smile. If you think it’s silly, then consider the alternative: staying in a contagious shitty mood all day. It feels pretty good to declare, confidently, out loud that you’re going to make it and that whatever it is you’re dealing with is just a temporary set back (because it is).
- · I make it a rule to not check my phone or text back at work if I’m mid text battling with someone in my personal life. All that drama will be waiting for you when you get off your shift (or maybe not), so you may as well take a break and clear your head and buy time until things settle down. No good can come out of trying to sort through problems during your shift, it’s best to wait till after work is over so your baggage doesn’t get in the way of your money.
- · If you’re the type that absolutely cannot function at work with your personal anxiety through the roof, sometimes talking about your troubles with your customers can work in your favor. For one thing, it makes you real and relatable. Second, it can be therapeutic if you’re given new insights (plus, it gives your customers an explanation to your shitty mood). Choose carefully who you confide in.
- · Challenge yourself to make this the best possible day you’ve ever had at work. Go out of your way, go above and beyond with service, be extra fun with co workers. Why? Not only will this help take your mind off things because you have a specific goal to achieve for the day - those feel good feelings from customers and coworkers from your “above and beyond” spirit will lead to positive outcomes. Good energy is it’s own reward.
- · Take personal responsibility for the negatives in your life. This might be hard, but if you dig deep and look for how you personally played a role in your situation, it will be easier to stop blaming outside circumstances and people for your problems and put yourself back in the driver’s seat and back in control to turn things around in your favor.
- · Because setting up bar and wiping down and restocking is mindless work, it’s a great time to self-reflect. Stay on the empowered side when you self reflect, meaning avoid the pity party. Think back to all the times you felt like things were all wrong and how challenging those times were, then recall how it was really a blessing in disguise. It made you stronger, it removed a toxic person from your life, it brought new friends and experiences, you learned a valuable lesson...What were all your blessings in disguise? We all have them. So remember, this too shall pass - for the better.
HOW DO YOU KEEP LEVEL HEADED AT WORK WHEN YOU HAVE TROUBLES ON YOUR MIND? I would love to hear from you Hey@StartenderApp.com