You know the feeling. It’s been creeping in all morning. Audrey Hepburn called it “The Mean Reds” in the film “Breakfast at Tiffanys.” She says to her friend: “you’re afraid and you don’t know what you’re afraid of.” Something bigger than you has been hiding deep down, under your conscious thoughts, it’s called a feeling—a “red” anxiety coupled with overwhelmed emotions. That’s right, we are women and we have emotions.

You’re at work, sitting at your desk. Around you there are others you professionally know, but don’t want to know that well, and the same goes for them. They are surrounding you, making the feeling grow. The only outlet women were given to handle this emotional wave that seems to gain tsunami strength by the minute, is to let the water flow. That’s right, tears. They scare men to death, but women cry and instantly move on. So the question remains for women: what do you do when you are having emotions at work? Women are such beautiful creatures, but they are like birds, not fit for cages. So while we may not mind our jobs when everything in our personal life is steady, what about the looming break-up, the sick family member, or the crushed dreams and financial troubles? How can women deal with issues while required to be at work?

From experience, when I get “The Mean Reds” there are four things I have found I can do.  I’ve noticed that if I can name, blame, accept, and then affirm the feeling, I can recover the quickest. How do I do this?

First, I try to name the feeling.  My example is a break-up with (dun dun dun) a coworker. You know, my boyfriend who works in the same space as me, so I can’t focus. I ask myself what am I feeling? For me, it’s usually sadness, grief, and disappointment. What do I do if I can’t get away from my desk? I write down, a sentence: “I feel…”  (name the feeling—sad and upset, etc).

Second, I go on to blame the feeling. In the second sentence, “I feel this way because…” (blame the situation: I loved him so much, and he doesn’t love me back).

Third, I accept that I am a woman and am allowed to feel this way.

Finally, I affirm myself in some way: Even though this man does not want to choose you, and you have chosen him, it does not take away from your worth. Instead, he has left the door open for another, and in that way, he’s a gentleman. I’ve found that not blaming the person, but instead the situation helps calm me down faster. It’s also helpful to let go of bitterness in our hearts, by affirming ourselves and others. In this case try to affirm my ex-boyfriend-co-worker, whom doesn’t seem to notice me anymore because he is a man and can compartmentalize at work. I like to remind myself of one good characteristic that does not involve how I feel about him, and move on:  He is a hard worker, and will do well for himself.  Usually that works, and if all else fails – run to the car or the bathroom and open the floodgates.

~Eyes are the most beautiful after a good cry, as they see the world more clearly.~