8403 Colesville Rd., Suite 1100
Silver Spring, MD 20910

How to Protect Mental Health when Dealing with Workplace Conflict

  • Posted by: Ellen Kandell

Most of us will experience workplace conflict at some point in our careers. This conflict can result from disagreements with the boss, dealing with difficult coworkers, and striving for work-life balance. The stress of conflict can impact our ability to do our jobs effectively, making us unhappy and impacting organizational success.

Dealing with workplace conflict can indeed be challenging, but there are several strategies you can employ to protect your mental health, even when things get heated:

Maintain Perspective: Recognize that conflicts are often temporary and can be resolved. Try to view the situation objectively and avoid catastrophizing.

Set Boundaries: Establish clear boundaries between work and personal life. When you leave the workplace, try to disconnect mentally from work-related stressors.

Practice Self-Care: Engage in activities that promote relaxation and well-being, such as exercise, hobbies, meditation, or spending time with loved ones.

Seek Support: Don’t hesitate to reach out to trusted colleagues, friends, or a mental health professional for support and guidance. Talking about your feelings can help alleviate stress.

Communicate Effectively: When addressing the conflict, strive for open and respectful communication. Express your thoughts and feelings assertively but without aggression.

Focus on Solutions: Instead of dwelling on the problem, focus on finding constructive solutions. Brainstorming with colleagues or seeking mediation can help facilitate resolution.

Practice Stress Management Techniques: Learn and utilize stress management techniques such as deep breathing, mindfulness, or progressive muscle relaxation to cope with stressful situations.

Take Breaks: If possible, take short breaks throughout the day to recharge and refresh your mind. Stepping away from the conflict temporarily can provide valuable perspective.

Develop Coping Strategies: Identify coping strategies that work best for you and incorporate them into your daily routine. This might include journaling, practicing gratitude, or engaging in creative outlets.

Know When to Seek Help: If workplace conflict is significantly impacting your ability to perform work tasks, a mediator can provide guidance tailored to your individual needs. Working with a mediator offers key benefits that can help minimize the damage done by conflict.

Conflict at work might be inevitable, but your mental health doesn’t have to suffer. Remember, it’s normal to experience stress and discomfort during workplace conflict, but taking proactive steps to protect your mental health can help you navigate these challenges more effectively.

Ellen F. Kandell is a certified professional mediator and attorney with over 30 years of public and private sector experience. She is one of eight Maryland mediators featured on a statewide demonstration video of good mediation practice. Ellen is certified by the International Mediation Institute.  She provides mediation, group facilitation and training to diverse clients in Washington, DC and the US. Get in touch with her via email, and follow her on LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Author: Ellen Kandell

Leave a Reply