When something unexpected happens—say, a family member gets sick or passes away—how do you keep it together at work? Here’s how you should handle yourself when a major life event suddenly rocks your world!

Give yourself some space.
Bouncing back after a devastating life event is not easy–it's going to take you some time before you can go back to your usual routine. Don’t force yourself to go to work, but try to finish any loose ends or turn some of your pending tasks over to your immediate superior. You don't want to come across as irresponsible. File for a leave if needed and deal with your personal issues, so that you can work more efficiently when you get back to the office. Just remember to talk with your boss about it so she understands why you're behaving that way.

Practice self-compassion.
It’s only normal to take things slow once you’ve decided to get back on the saddle. If you’re struggling with a task which you had no trouble completing so easily before, don’t fret or get mad at yourself. Experiencing a major life shock can catch you off-guard–remember; you’re human, too, and you need time to regroup.

Set boundaries with family.
When you’re going through a tough time, it’s possible that your family and close relatives would want to check up on you every now and then. To avoid having to field calls and texts the entire day, politely tell them that while you appreciate their concern, you have to concentrate on your job. Set a date when you can sit down and talk with them, and set all minds at ease.

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