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Tips of the Trade for Young Adults in the Workforce

Self-Regulating Tips of the Trade.  Sheri Perlman, OT, LCSW (914) 632-7111, 

Know your triggers. If transitions caused anxiety and meltdowns growing up, transitions to a new job where the unexpected and unfamiliar lurks, and you begin having stomach aches or headaches, reason out what is going on. 

  1. Take 10 deep breaths and let them out slowly in a quiet place while visualizing yourself in your favorite peaceful spot

  2. After breathing and re-setting your sympathetic nervous system, imagine yourself in your new job succeeding. 

  3. Ask to visit before starting so everything won’t be new on your first day.

  4. Take a walk and THINK. Thinking about what is unnerving helps calm you down and problem solve.

  5. Exercise regularly. Cardio and weight lifting improve proprioceptive feedback and enhance endorphins, to keep the sympathetic nervous system in check

If you feel an internal signal of anger or that a meltdown is coming, and that you might yell at someone, remove yourself immediately to a private place and listen to music on headphones to calm down, just breath until you are calm and can think it through. 

If your supervisor or boss criticizes you, remind yourself that someone else’s criticism doesnt mean you’re incompetent. They could be in a bad mood and one rebuke amidst much more praise means you are imperfect, human. Balance the praise with the criticisms and hold the overall good feedback in mind.THINK and FEEL your way back to a time you did something you were proud of and experience how competent and good about yourself you felt to prevent feeling depressed.

If you're given a task that you know will be overwhelming, breath and think through if you can plan it out in steps. If you still cannot, and need to ask for help, remind yourself that you are good at a great many things and some things are simply hard which doesn't mean you aren’t smart.

If feeling sensory overload, take a walk. Use earplugs to mute the background noise of talking or music. It's okay to tell people you like to mute the noise. Many more people struggle with sensory overload than you think and just don’t know it is a “thing”.

If unsure of the social rules, watch and listen for a week, make eye contact and smile and join in when you feel you have scoped out the scene adequately.

Initiate plans with people after work. If you get rejected, don’t take it personally and retreat. Other people have their own insecurities and plans so persevere without intruding. Initiate with others and then a week later again with the person who was unable to go out the first time you ask. 

Call me if you would like to know more about how to promote emotional health and regulation in your child or loved one. (914) 632-7111


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