5 Tips for managing anxiety at work

5 Tips for managing anxiety at work

5 tips to manage work-related stress and anxiety

Anxiety is a common mental health condition affecting millions of people worldwide.

While anxiety manifests differently for everyone, often it can be particularly difficult to manage in a work environment.

Anxiety can be described as feelings of worry, fear or unease.

These feelings are often strong and persistent, and they can interfere with an individual’s day-to-day tasks, particularly in the workplace.

While everybody experiences anxiety from time to time, anxiety as a mental health condition is not just feeling stressed temporarily, rather experiencing ongoing anxious feelings that aren’t in proportion to the situation at hand.

Anxiety can be difficult to control, with symptoms ranging from heart palpitations, headaches and feeling sick to psychological symptoms of constant worry, trouble concentrating or feeling overwhelmed.

It’s crucial to remember that anxiety is not a sign of weakness.

It is a common condition that many people face, but you don’t have to manage it alone.

There are plenty of resources and treatment options available to manage anxiety, including at work.

With the right strategies in place, it is possible to more effectively manage anxiety in the workplace so you can reap the rewards of a fulfilling professional life.

In this article, we will dive into our top five tips for managing anxiety at work and how specifically seeking jobs for people with anxiety and support from disability employment services can help in this journey.

1. Practice mindfulness and breathing techniques

By implementing mindfulness and breathing techniques, such as meditation or box breathing, into your daily routine, you will be able to focus on the present moment without feeling as much worry and judgement about your circumstances.

While mindfulness isn’t a quick fix, it is a practice that can make a significant difference to your quality of life and state of mind when finessed.

Both mindfulness and breathing techniques are powerful tools for managing anxiety.

Where possible, we recommend incorporating mindfulness activities into your morning routine before work and then taking short breaks throughout the day.

This will help you focus on mindfulness and pay attention to your breathing.

Several online free apps offer guided mindfulness and breathing exercises that you may find useful.

2. Organise and prioritise your tasks

Often those living with anxiety express that they often feel overwhelmed.

This can stem from feeling like you have too much on your plate, but it can also stem from not being able to visualise and execute the tasks at hand properly.

Organisation tools such as digital calendars and checklists can immensely benefit those living with anxiety.

These tools can help you stay organised and prioritise your work tasks so you can manage your workload effectively.

We recommend starting your day by creating a to-do list and catching up on any emails.

From there, you can categorise your tasks based on their urgency and importance.

It’s also a wise idea to use time management techniques, like the pomodoro method or time blocking, to help you stay focused and to limit feelings of overwhelm.

3. Prioritise your physical health

Your physical health and your mental well-being are linked.

When you feel good physically, this often translates to feeling good mentally.

This is why it is so important to maintain your physical health to help you manage anxiety.

Regular exercise, a balanced diet and adequate sleep can greatly impact anxiety symptoms.

Try to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine.

If possible, a short walk during your lunch break could provide you with a two-in-one opportunity to practise mindfulness and exercise.

4. Communicate with your employer

We get you — this step can cause more anxiety, but communicating openly with your employer or even a trusted colleague or supervisor about your anxiety can help you to get the support you need.

It may be possible to make adjustments to your work responsibilities or work hours in order to help you feel more comfortable in your role. You don’t know until you ask.

It is also essential to vocalise if you are feeling overwhelmed, and talk through solutions such as getting some of your tasks reassigned.

You do not have to disclose your mental health status if this makes you uncomfortable.

However, it is possible that opening up to your colleagues may help you to feel more comfortable, better understood and supported.

5. Seek professional help

If you are struggling to manage anxiety in the workplace and feel as though it is beginning to affect your quality of life, the best thing to do is seek professional help.

Trained therapists and counsellors can provide you with coping strategies and habits to better manage your anxiety within the workplace, and get back to living your life on your own terms.

Consider reaching out to a healthcare professional if you are experiencing overwhelming feelings of worry, fear or stress that don’t go away.

Disability Employment Services also offer support for people living with anxiety.

These organisations are able to provide you with support and resources to help manage anxiety in the workplace.

They are also experts at finding suitable jobs for people living with anxiety and helping you to navigate conversations with employers to better articulate and understand the support you may need for your mental health.

Managing anxiety is ongoing, and what works for one individual might not work for another, so it may take a little time to find the best strategies for you.

However, with the right support, you will find a strategy that works for you.

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