If you have suffered unlawful discrimination, harassment or retaliation in the workplace, the circumstances you’ve been compelled to endure may have been truly traumatizing. And even if you wouldn’t describe your situation as traumatic, it is likely that the mistreatment you’ve been subjected to has caused you considerable stress.
It is important to process this trauma or stress as proactively as possible for a few key reasons. First and foremost, your mental health and overall well-being matter. Prioritizing self-care can help to ensure that you do not suffer any lasting challenges that start to wear on you – and your life as a whole – as time goes on. Second, if you’re struggling under the weight of trauma and stress without working to manage it, you won’t be in the strongest possible position to pursue justice.
What can you do?
Everyone reacts to mistreatment and injustice in different ways. You may find that you’re not ready to pursue justice until you’ve had some time to “feel your feelings” and to tend to your immediate needs. Conversely, you may be eager to speak with an attorney in order to make things right. Neither approach is right nor wrong. You need to do whatever is in your best interests.
With that said, focusing only on pursuing justice – or only tending to your immediate needs – may not be quite enough. Most of the time, individuals who have endured mistreatment need some balance between seeking external “fixes” to the issue at hand and engaging in the kinds of self-care behaviors that can lead to greater healing.
However you approach the twin aims of self-care and seeking justice, know that both pursuits are acts of courage in the wake of mistreatment. It may not feel like it, but making any progress toward managing and processing your trauma and stress is important. It’s also wise to have experienced guidance to help you through the legal issues you may be facing.