Many people develop severe anxiety as a result of their job. Toxic work environments or having to perform stressful tasks can create states of chronic anxiety, which has the potential to have long-term effects on your overall wellbeing.
Know the feeling? You’re not the only one. A recent survey released by YouGov showed that 32% of over 4,000 participants were dissatisfied with their careers.
Trust me, workplace burnout is real – I’ve been there. It got to the point where I was having trouble sleeping and eating, coming home each night and creating arguments with my partner to let off the steam that had built up throughout the day. He finally found me sitting on the kitchen floor at 5am crying my eyes out with anxiety at the thought of work that day. Enough was enough.
Mine is an extreme example of work burnout and its outcome – knowing what I know now, I’d never let things get that bad again. If your anxieties at work have just arisen, I’ve put together a few tips to get you through. Please listen to yourself though; know when things are too much.
Prepare for Your Day
I have spoken about this previously in our preparing for a positive week article. Never underestimate the power of having a plan.
Get Away from Your Desk
Many workplaces now offer mindfulness options for employees – some even offer nap pods and lunchtime yoga! If you’re not so lucky, it can really help to just take a small break from your screen to reset your mind. If you’re working on a huge project, or even if you have lots of smaller jobs to do, taking small breaks by just taking a walk around the office or stepping out to get a coffee can really make a difference to your mindset.
Speak to Someone
If you’ve got too much work to do, or you’re finding something extremely difficult, don’t suffer in silence. Although you may not want to draw attention to the fact you’re not coping, it’s worth telling a colleague or manager. They may not even realise you’ve taken on so much! There’s nothing worse than letting it all build up until you crash.
Ask to Work Flexibly
Another recent survey from YouGov revealed that over nine in ten of us aren’t working the usual 9-5 week. Going freelance was the best thing I ever did for myself. I can do what I love and my mental health is on track for the first time in years. That may not be an option for you, but take a look at whether you can come in at an earlier hour to leave before 5pm – claim back your time and work / life balance.
Honestly, there is nothing in this world – NOTHING – that is worth staking your mental health on. Take it from someone who’s been there, done that, had the breakdown. If your anxieties about work are leaking into your personal life and taking over, you need to make a move, sharpish. There’s no shame in ‘quitting’ as it were – focus on number one and live your life well.