The health of our families and ourselves is a top priority. Working in a hospital I see daily the toll that a loved one's health can take on someone. How they carry a heavyweight as they need to continue to work to support these flood of bills. Maybe you have worked in health care, or experienced pain with a loved one or been in the situation first-person waiting to hear the results of a test. Whatever the position, there could be lingering hardship. Then the next day, week or month, it's time to return to your daily routine. With a heartache, you feel like you need to put on your game face and maybe enter pilot mode to get through the day. Holding in what's going on in your life might not be the best course of action. Being vulnerable at work may be necessary.
This can make people feel uncomfortable, knowing that it's not the place, and may seem unprofessional. However, what can harm your workflow more is holding on and not being mentally available to take on more work. It may play such a part of your everyday life that you start coming in late, being resentful towards coworkers, asking others to cover tasks for you at work, or leaving early. Be yourself to a point where things are still appropriate. Being honest about what’s going on with you outside of the office doesn’t mean you should treat work as an all-day venting session for weeks on end—and you know that. Finding positive outlets, talking with an onsite mentor, setting outings to change your course of thought, now those are appropriate and welcomed outlets. Being open about things outside of work to which you are comfortable can help you understand your feelings at work. No one should question abilities or commitment: On the contrary, co-workers may see resilience.
You can also communicate with your boss, explain the situation and discuss the workload you can handle. Many feel that work is strictly professional, but we are all human and should all feel like we are seen, and life isn't all about clocking in hours.
Talking can build trust, it can relieve exhaustion, it can make you brave.