How to Fix a Toxic Work Situation

You're mired in toxicity at work. You know (and hope!) you will find your way out of this septic maze and into a new, better job. Presently, however, you must endure the mire in order to pay the bills.

Toxic environments present themselves differently. They can exist in the form of an overbearing, micromanaging boss, or a leader who incapacitates your every move, or a company whose archaic business culture stirs tempestuousness among your colleagues.

Soul-sucking environments are difficult to maneuver within. Survival becomes key, and thriving seems like a mere dream. So, what are you to do to make the days, weeks and even months more palatable while figuring out an exit plan? How can you maintain energy, enthusiasm and hope during this difficult time? The following actionable tips will not only help soothe your weary soul, but also will empower you to move up and out of your dire work setting.

1.Take time off. Whether you must burn a vacation day that you were harboring for the holidays or request a personal day (or two or three), find a way to carve out time for you. No work days available? Then assess your regularly scheduled "weekend" days and see how you can better make them serve you. Whatever the case, time away from work and from household duties should be front and center as you maintain emotional health during this career trial.

2. Imbibe in the sun. While you intuitively know the value of sunshine to emotional (and physical) health, you may inconveniently forget just "how" vital it is to maintain balance, particularly when you are down. It is amazing the uptick in attitude and problem-solving ability we gain when our spirits are lifted by something as simple and natural as a few rays of sun.

3. Seek outside help. Worn out from helming your job search alone? (A little secret: job hunting has changed 180 degrees in the past few years. There's a lot more intellectual legwork involved). Then reach out. If you have the funds to invest, do it – hire a professional career coach or resume writer to support your initiatives.  Dial up a mentor or an esteemed former colleague or other respected business person and seek their counsel. Listen and apply the suggestions (even if they feel a bit awkward at first). Do not let pride, stubbornness or a feeling of "I'm not worthy" prevent you from investing time, and/or money in your career goals. Just do it!

4. Stop all the self-sacrifice. Quit telling yourself, "I should be spending all my non-work time mowing the yard, cleaning the house, taking my kids to softball practice, revamping my resume, networking and such." While all are important tasks, ensure you also are taking time to be kind and nourishing to you (and ultimately in this case, your career). After all, if you fulfill your needs first, then you will be more available and enthusiastic in tending to your other commitments and the needs of your loved ones later.

5. Exercise. Always a popular tip, and for a good reason, because exercise releases endorphins through your body, producing a euphoric feeling. Exercise has a ripple effect, elevating your mood, helping you maintain a consistently more positive attitude and helping you feel naturally tired at the end of the day, so you sleep better.