4 Ways to Cope With Work AnxietyLindsay Chambers
Every job comes with some amount of stress, but extreme work anxiety can severely disrupt your life, including the quality of your work and your relationships with colleagues. If your worries about your job are starting to spill over into your free time and have caused you to dread going to work every day, you need to learn strategies for getting work anxiety under control.
1. Hone Your Conflict Management Skills
At some point in your working life, you’ll eventually encounter people who are difficult for you to get along with. It might be due to a simple personality mismatch, or perhaps someone is openly hostile toward you. Though you might get short-lived relief by venting to another co-worker or complaining to your supervisor, consider keeping the issue strictly between you and the source of your anxiety to avoid toxicity and accumulated stress.
Invite the colleague to coffee or lunch and outline how the situation has been adversely affecting you. Explain why you believe a resolution would be mutually beneficial in your goal of making the workplace a more honest, transparent environment.
2. Know When to Say No
Sometimes, your anxiety might make you nervous about turning people down. As a result, you might habitually bite off more than you can chew by agreeing to unreasonable deadlines you know you can’t meet. However, it’s better to be realistic upfront than to apologize later. Not every timeline is negotiable, but it will save you hours of anxiety if you learn to politely say no when your plate is already overloaded.
3. Remember to Practice Self-Care
You can’t effectively help others if you don’t focus on helping yourself first. Watch for any patterns in your thoughts or behavior that might indicate you’re feeling drained or on the verge of burning out. Warning signs may include an overall loss of enthusiasm and an inability to find the humor in everyday situations. Irritability, especially with your co-workers, is another indicator that you need to devote some time to self-care. Carve out space in your schedule to look after yourself, whether this takes the form of journaling, taking a walk or taking a leisurely soak in the bathtub.
4. Meet Problems Head-On
Avoiding contact with people who make you uncomfortable is human nature. But if interactions with a colleague make your palms sweat, calling in sick time and again isn’t the answer. Dodging problematic co-workers is only a short-term solution. As time goes on, indigestion, high blood pressure and other work anxiety symptoms will only get worse if you try to escape by sweeping conflict under the rug. Instead, confront problematic people and situations head-on. The more you do so, the more natural it will start to feel in the long run.
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With appropriate treatment and support, most people living with mental health challenges like anxiety, depression and PTSD go on to recover and live fulfilling lives. When you’re ready to make a change, explore our four levels of care or connect with us anytime.