Living with anxiety is frustrating enough but even more frustrating when we feel like it is interfering in our professional lives. We work so hard on trainings and education that the last thing we want is for anxiety to sabotage all of our hard work. So when the going gets tough at work, here are five tips for managing anxiety at work.
1.) Make a list
When things feel overwhelming, break it down. Make a list. Rank the list according to priority and take each piece one at a time. There is a lot to do! But you can’t do it all at once. So start on the first step and work from there.
2.) Fresh Air Break
It’s not fair that smokers get breaks when others don’t. And I would never promote smoking for stress management, so instead of a smoke break, take a fresh air break! Get up from your desk, get away from the computer and take a walk, take a stretch, go get a drink of water or simply get some fresh air to reset.
3.) Talk to someone
Research shows our work satisfaction increases significantly if we feel that we have at least one friend at work. Who is that person for you? Someone you can talk to when the work stress is getting intense or someone who can just make you laugh when you need it most. Don’t have a friend at work? Call or text a friend or loved one. Support and encouragement from others can help make the hard times easier.
4.) Ask for help
Feeling overwhelmed and stressed by a project? What are the resources available to you? Speak up and communicate what you need. Maybe there are others who can help shoulder the burden or guide you in a way to make the work easier.
5.) Practice being in the moment
Often times anxiety and stress lives in the “What ifs” and is future oriented. When you start to get swept up in all the stresses about the future come back to the present moment. Check in with yourself in this moment. The future is not here yet so where are you now? Often times the moment in front of us is not so bad after all and actually quite bearable. We can’t live in any other moment than this one, so this one is a good place to start.
Theresa Leskowat MS LPC is a Charlotte based therapist who specializes in Anxiety Counseling.