Friday night and you leave the office so exhausted and defeated that you start to cry as you walk out of the front door.

Working late and cancelling plans because it's easier to work on a Friday night when you can sleep it off the next day.

Waking up multiple times each night with a pounding heart and thoughts of to-do lists or high risk issues spinning around your head.

So tired you're physically shaking.  Feeling like a complete fucking mess, failure, that you're not cut out for this shit.

So, how do you shake off the week from hell?

This is what you don't do.

Run straight to the junk food / sweets / alcohol.  Sure it's a Friday night but drowning your sorrows or squashing down your feelings with junk won't help and will actively make you feel worse.  By all means, indulge in your favourite indulgences, look after you, feel cared for but don't  push the feelings down.

Suppress the feelings.  You want to scream, cry, dance off the jitters DO IT.  Do it now, do it quickly but do not wallow in it.  Get those emotions expressed with the least damage possible (I'm looking at you, long-suffering other-half).  On that note, by all means talk about it.  But don't talk to someone who is going to challenge you, question you or tell you what to do. If necessary, brief your shoulder-to-cry-on that, for the purposes of the next ten minutes, their views are not required, only their empathy, tea-making skills and sage comments in the vein of 'oh you poor thing, that sounds fucking shit, how can I care for you'.  

Wallow.  See above.  We let the feelings rise, we feel them, we thank them for helping us to learn (even if the learning is 'some weeks suck') and we wave them cheery-bye and tell them to fuck right off.  (I defy you to tell your emotions to 'fuck right off' and NOT laugh at yourself.  Try it!)

Deprive yourself.  You've had a shit week.  Burn the candles you were saving for a special day.  Run a bath with the 'best' lotions and potions.  Drink tea and watch the film you've been itching to watch for ages.  Fall asleep face down on your bed at 8pm if required.  Whatever you need to get you back to a place of equilibrium, do it.  Caveat to this: see point 1 above.  We are looking for equilibrium, not inebriation.

Quit.  It's been a shit week.  It might even be a defining shit week in your career.  You might go through all the steps above and still decide it's time to quit in which case, perhaps it's time to consult a recruiter and a lawyer, but do not quit at the moment of exhaustion, feeling defeated or not knowing how you're going to dig your way out.  Because you are so much stronger than you know, infinitely more resourceful than you realise and every single moment of pain is a moment of immense learning and growth.

Do it alone.  I founded Searching for Serenity to help ambitious, heartfelt women who were struggling with issues of burnout and exhaustion and, bar none, every single woman in my community is a powerhouse of empathy, expertise and experience.  Even if no one else around you understands, you have access to a community of hundreds of other like-minded professional women who are ready to change this story for good.   You can join the community HERE

What are you going to do to shake off your shitty week?  Leave a comment below!


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