Whether in your personal life or at work, you’re bound to go through a rough time at some point. It’s something that can throw you off balance and overwhelm you to the point where you start behaving in a manner in which you normally wouldn’t. For some people, this lasts a few days or weeks, and then they find a way to get back on track. However, for others, things sometimes escalate quite rapidly and this sort of dysfunctional behavior can go on for a longer period of time, which can affect their careers in a very negative way. But, how do you overcome this behavior and save the career you’ve worked so hard for? Here are some ideas.

Consider taking some time off

The usual causes for dysfunctional behavior are stressful events in your life. Among other things, it could be the end of a long relationship, death of a loved one, or finding out that you suffer from some serious disease. Whichever the reason is, if your behavior is creating problems at work, making you nervous and unpleasant to your co-workers, and preventing you from dealing with your tasks the way you ordinarily do, you should think about taking some time off to get better. However, before you do, think of the pros and cons of it. Namely, if your job is stressing you out additionally, causing you to act out and preventing you from finding a way to control yourself, then the time off might do you good. On the other hand, you should be aware that you’ll be more alone if you’re at home. So, if you need human interaction to feel better, then you should either stay at work surrounded by people, or find somebody outside work whose insight might help you get things back into balance, which brings us to tip number two.

Seek help

Dysfunctional behavior triggered by stressful events can be dangerous for your wellbeing. It includes constant partying, turning to drugs or alcohol, developing an eating disorder or even engaging in risky sexual behavior. If at some point you realize you can’t stop doing these things, even though you want to, you should find help. First people to turn to are your closest friends and family members, since they’re the ones who care deeply for you and who will support you in your efforts to heal. In other cases, you might want to seek professional help. For instance, if you got addicted to a substance, you should talk to your GP and see if they can help you, or send you to somebody else who can. This is very important, since you might have to face things like alcohol withdrawal, which can be extremely dangerous and even life-threatening if done the wrong way. Also, if you suspect you might be depressed, you should get some counseling and try to fix the very root of the problem, which means addressing the feelings which led you to the undesirable behavior in the first place. Once your mind is in the right place again, you’ll find it much easier to be more devoted to work and career.

Give yourself time

When dealing with emotional issues, you can’t expect the problem to disappear after a simple conversation or after a day or two. Healing is a process and to go through it properly, you will need time. It’s important that you don’t rush yourself, but also not to allow others to rush you. Perhaps the project you’re doing at work right now can benefit from somebody else taking the lead this time, and it’s highly likely you can as well. Pushing yourself too hard to do something that you aren’t comfortable with or capable of at the moment might slow down your recovery and throw you right back into the behavior you’re trying to contain. As important as your career is to you, always bear in mind that you only have one life and one body, and that you have to take care of yourself first, so that you can take care of your job obligations later.

Celebrate small successes

If you set unrealistic goals about your healing process and handling your dysfunctional behavior, it might make things far to difficult for you. Instead, set smaller day-to-day goals which will be simpler to achieve and which will make it easier for you to track your progress. For instance, instead of tackling the most important and the most demanding projects in your company, choose the less important and less complicated ones for the time being. That can relieve you of a great amount of pressure, leaving you with more time and strength to help yourself get better. And every time you make some progress, whether at work or in your healing, celebrate it by doing something you like, such as getting a massage, buying a new pair of shoes or just having a cup of coffee with your best friend.

The main thing you can do for yourself is finding the reason behind your dysfunctional behavior and deal with both, the event or situation that triggered such behavior and all the consequences it led to. And remember, first you heal, and then you can continue pursuing your career.