Do you ever lose sleep from work related anxiety? You’re not alone, my friend! From difficult co-workers or bosses to feeling like you have to be “on” or “perfect” all the time, there are a million reasons why women consistently report that work is one of their number one stressors. The good news is, there are definitely things you can do to make reduce your work-related anxiety, and I’m sharing several with you right here in today’s post!
Are you ready to reduce your anxious feels? Let’s do this thing!
Try some free journaling to get your feelings onto paper – so many times that’s all it takes for you to get to the root of what’s really bothering you at work. Once you know the why behind whatever it is that’s upsetting you, you will likely find that it a) upsets you much less and b) that you can make a plan to help you deal with said anxiety (see the next paragraph). Because the truth of the matter is, anxiety isn’t something you can ever fully prevent. Intrusive thoughts will come and go, and that’s ok. The goal is not to let anxiety keep you from living a life you love – a life of peace, joy, and purpose. Get your thoughts organized either on paper or by talking to a therapist or trusted friend. I would caution you against talking to too many co-workers about work related anxiety. In my experience, it doesn’t usually end well. Besides, it’s much better to talk things through with someone objective (read: someone who isn’t a part of the office politics).
Having a plan is a great way to relieve work related anxiety because it helps your feelings of nervousness and worry subside (at least a bit) almost immediately. Instead of playing out the “what if” scenarios on an endless loop in your mind, play them out TO their end. Think about the worst case scenario and then think about what you would do if it actually happened. So you’re afraid your boss is going to call you into their office and lecture you about a project that didn’t go well? Think about what you would say, what you would do, and how you would want to handle it if you knew you were handling it as best as you possibly could. Try not to ruminate on it (that’s definitely not helpful!) but if you should find yourself in the endless loop situation, simply notice and remind yourself that you already have a plan for that. Then, return to the present moment. Rinse and repeat as often as necessary.
You may have heard it said that “every day might not be good, but there is something good in every day.” I believe this is just as true for work days as it is on the weekends, my friends. Can you set the intention at the outset of your workday to look for the good? Can you look for the good in people, even people who annoy you and make life more difficult for you? Are you able to find moments of peace or beauty or joy here and there? If the very idea of this is causing you to fervently shake your head “no” right now, maybe it’s time to set an intention around how you want to be perceived, or what you want to feel each day at work. If you’re frequently too stressed to worry about how others are doing, maybe you make a point to stop by a colleague’s desk and check in with them instead of rushing straight over to yours. Notice how it feels to do something different. Maybe you work through your lunch break more often than not for fear that you’ll be too bogged down later in the day if you don’t. What if you took at least 15 minutes to get outside and mindfully eat your lunch instead? What would that feel like? Often, we imagine it will make things worse for us, but the reality is that just the opposite is true. When we take breaks to experience joyor peaceful moments, we return to work with renewed vigor and a refreshed mind. Try me!
Ahh, vacation. The magical week or two out of the year where you can actually disconnect from work for longer than a night or a weekend. Typically, people experience as much (if not more!) joy from planning a vacation as they do from actually taking it. That being said, I highly recommend you actually take one, too! If you know you have a time when you’ll get a respite from the stresses of work related anxiety, you’ll be much better equipped to deal with those that occur on a day to day basis. This is essentially taking the last suggestion and running with it, and the bottom line is this: we need things to look forward to. Vacations are fun, relaxing time away with our favorite people – that is self-care in the best possible form, if you ask me!
Ok, my friends, I’d love to know: what are the biggest sources of your work related anxiety? More importantly, what do you do to relieve it?