Does the thought of work stress you out? Do you feel depressed or overwhelmed while you’re there? Do you have a hard time disconnecting yourself from your job when at home?

If you answered “yes” to these questions, you may be working in a toxic work environment.

A toxic workplace will negatively affect your life:

● It can make you sick. High levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, in your system can put you at a greater risk of heart attacks and strokes.

● You may feel less motivated. Being surrounded by negativity can be mentally and physically draining. This leaves you with less energy, making it harder for you to motivate yourself.

● You are more likely to experience depression. The unhealthy environment created by a toxic manager can lead to bullying, counterproductive behavior, psychological distress and ultimately depression.

It’s not always possible to just walk out of a bad job. Sometimes you have to tough it out, until something better comes along. Try out the tips below to make your toxic workplace more bearable.

1. Don’t check your emails before work
It’s likely anything work-related will put you in a negative mindset. By engaging with work earlier than you should you are needlessly spending more time in this negative and stressful state.

2. Start your days with small “wins”
Small “wins” such as exercising or leaving for work on time prime your brain to achieving more “wins.” This routine leads to a mindset focusing on positives instead of negatives.

3. Create a gratitude list of everything you like about work
Putting together a list of all the positive benefits of work keeps your brain from dwelling on negatives and puts you in a positive mood.

4. Stay away from coworkers who create conflict
If you are aware of particular colleagues who instigate conflicts, stay away from them. Their conflicts cause stress and can lead to workplace negativity.

5. Make friends
Developing friendships with people similar to you can provide with you a support system in which you can share your feelings in a productive manner. This will make your workplace seem less toxic.

6. Document everything
Keep a record of negative and positive interactions. If you need to file a complaint, this will ensure you have the information you need.

7. Seek ways to improve yourself
By learning new work skills you stay motivated and build your skillset for future job opportunities.

8. Practice reframing
When confronted with a negative interaction, try to think of it as a learning experience. Viewing things objectively can help reduce your stress as it lessens the emotions you invest in an interaction.

9. Create a positive workspace
A positive workspace can make you feel safe amongst the chaos of a toxic environment. Personalizing your workstation will give you a sense of ownership making you feel more in control.

10. Create distance from your job
It’s important to separate yourself from your job, because it creates distance between the stress of work and the comfort of home.

11. Create an exit strategy
Ensuring that you have a plan on how to leave your job should it become too stressful, will stop you from feeling trapped in you current workplace.

12. Practice healthy coping techniques
When you develop a routine of healthy coping techniques, such as reading, exercise or meditation, you create a boundary between yourself and the toxic work environment.

If you find that these tips aren’t helping you deal with your toxic workplace, maybe it’s time to update your exit strategy and look for a new place of work.

Is your workplace toxic? Sometimes it’s hard to tell if you work in a toxic environment or you just hate your job. To help you decide, follow this flowchart and figure out if your workplace is indeed toxic: https://resume.io/how-to-deal-with-a-toxic-work-environment

Author's Bio: 

Mary is a freelance writer and digital nomad currently living in rainy yet wonderful London. She writes (and reads!) about personal growth, productivity in the workplace, self improvement, and the importance of work/life balance and how to achieve it.