Your workplace has so much more impact on your life than you thought it would bring. Just imagine how your day goes. A huge chunk of your waking hours on the weekdays are spent working, both apply to both working in a physical office or if you work from home. Given that this is where you spend a lot of time, it’s not surprising that it has so much impact on your mental, psychological, and emotional aptitude; your job gives you more than just your pay.
Looking on the positive side, you’ll want the effects of your job to focus on the positive. But you don’t always have control over the external factors, like your workplace, workload, environment, and even the people you work with. However, what you have control over is how you react to these external factors so your work anxiety doesn’t get the best of you.
This article is here to help you out. Discussed below are some important things you need to know about work anxiety:
- Accept That What You Feel Is Real And That Your Employer Won’t Fire You
Your employer will fire you if you start slacking continuously, perhaps if you do something seriously wrong in the office, or if you violated the terms in your contract. But they won’t fire you for accepting you’ve got anxiety. In fact, you may even get the help that you need.
The first place to acquire this needed help, however, is accepting the fact that you have workplace anxiety. Then, discuss this with the right people in your workplace. Typically, these ‘right people’ are your human resource managers or your department head, if you have one. By starting with that step, HR can give you the right recommendations on what to do and they may even be very supportive to you until such time your workplace anxiety is resolved.
You don’t need to keep things by yourself. If you wish for your workplace anxiety to be discreet, you can also take the word of your superior or your HR manager that this won’t become office gossip. Depending on the kind of benefits your workplace has, if you have healthcare insurance as a part of your employer-sanctioned benefits, this may even have a provision for your mental health. That way, you won’t have to worry about the expenses.
Generally, you may be given two options: inpatient and outpatient anxiety treatment and counseling San Diego or wherever you live or work. Here’s the difference between both:
- Inpatient mental health treatment or therapy: With this kind of treatment form, you’re going to be checked into a mental health facility to get your appropriate treatment. This is best for those who’ve been diagnosed with work anxiety or any anxiety, for that matter, in its serious stages.
This is especially needed for those who have a history of hurting themselves and who need round-the-clock care and medical supervision. By availing of inpatient mental therapy, do note that you’ll have to take a leave off work, so be sure your absences are still within the allowable limits set forth by your local employment laws.
- Outpatient mental health treatment or therapy. With an outpatient mental health treatment, you don’t have to be checked into a facility. But you must religiously attend your pre-scheduled counseling sessions, which usually last for about an hour.
This is the most common route taken by those who don’t necessarily need to be placed in a mental health facility. Plus, you can still continue performing your job functions and all other responsibilities in life.
- Ask For Help At Work
Asking for help from your co-workers isn’t a sign of weakness. If you’ve been given a job responsibility you’re confused about, don’t shy away from asking for help from those within the same department as you. This isn’t to say that they’re going to do the job for you, but it’s about asking for tips and insights so you’ll know how to properly get started with the task.
If you’re new to the workplace, it’s also normal to experience heavy workplace anxiety. You’re still familiarizing yourself with your new job, the culture, and the responsibilities. And now, you’ve just been presented with quite a difficult job to do. Rather than spending hours working on it, ask for help. Chances are, if you ask nicely, you’re going to have co-workers that’ll be more than willing to help you out.
Along that line, there are so many advantages to asking for help, including the following:
- Builds relationships or networks with your co-workers. No man is an island, and you aren’t expected to finish every single task at work on your own without help from anybody, especially if you’re still new. Asking for help is also a good way to break the ice and build networks with the people you’re working with.
Having friendships at work is one way to gradually reduce workplace anxiety since you’ll feel like you belong in a family unit at work.
- Increases your productivity. When you ask for help from someone who has the right skills, then your productivity also improves. You no longer have to spend so much time trying to figure out how to do the tasks since you’ll now have proper guidance. Also, you can now do more work, reducing the likelihood of not meeting your deadlines.
- Builds your courage to accept rejection. Unfortunately, the fact is, not everyone’s going to be your ally. Unfortunately, there are those who just don’t like to help at all. Or, they may want to help, but right now isn’t the best time as they’re also loaded with other heavy job responsibilities.
When you ask for help and you’re given a ‘no,’ this builds your aptitude for rejection. Eventually, you’ll no longer feel so bad about getting rejected, and this would no longer be a contributor to your workplace and life stressors.
- Keep Working
Whatever you do, don’t quit work! Yes, you may be suffering from workplace anxiety, but this doesn’t mean that you’ll make the hasty decision of quitting your job.
Remember that you need a job. There are bills to pay. And, it’s not going to help your anxiety if you’ll constantly worry about how to survive and how to pay your bills. Beyond its economic benefits, having a job also gives you that sense of purpose.
If you no longer have a job, this may start the vicious cycle of being a couch potato, flying by your anxiety by relaxing, not eating well, drinking, and getting into vices.
No matter the job your hold, work stressors will always be there; there’s no perfect workplace. Even if you’ve got that friend who constantly praises their employers and their office, this doesn’t mean it’s any better than yours. After all, you never know what goes on within the four walls of their workplace.
The only time when quitting your current job is warranted is when you know there’s no way out of your work anxiety, perhaps the environment is too toxic, there’s a vicious hierarchy system in place where newbies like you obviously have no place in, there’s abuse that’s going on, or you’re not doing a job that’s attuned to your skills. Worse, you’re given a job that’s nowhere close to the job description you were promised.
In those instances, when you know and feel that one of the best solutions is to quit your job, be sure you’ve already found a new one to fall back to before sending in that resignation later. By doing so, you immediately have a new job to report to. You can heal from your work anxiety, and move on better with your life. Otherwise, the stressors of unemployment are only going to add up to your anxiety.
- Avoid Office Triangles
Office triangles start to happen when you bond with someone just to talk about a third person. This may get you to build friendships and connections in your workplace, but these are unhealthy connections. It forms the foundation of gossip and a non-trustworthy friendship.
Just think, if you can talk about that third person behind their back, what makes you think those very same people aren’t going to talk about you behind your back?
Office triangles won’t do your mental and emotional health any good. In fact, it’ll only add up to your workplace anxiety. Gossiping about others is toxic, and it’s only temporary relief. In the long run, this gossips build tension and stress.
- Manage Your Time Wisely
One way to beat work anxiety and stress is to manage your time wisely. By doing so, you’re able to meet all of your deadlines and work demands, without necessarily having to do a lot of overtime work.
Good time management enables you to have a good work-life balance. By doing so, you’re working only within the hours you’re supposed to work, hence you won’t destroy any time you should be spending on your personal activities simply because there’s so much to finish.
Plus, you can also avoid past-due work from piling up. Stress and anxiety start to kick in when you know there’s so much you need to catch up on. Had you been more effective at managing your time, all those past-due deadlines would’ve already been submitted.
If you feel you need assistance on this matter, here are workable tips on how you can start being the master of your time:
- Always have a plan and prepare for work. Before you start any work, once you reach the office, have a plan for the day ahead. This means that you must set honest and achievable deadlines as to what you should be able to finish within the day.
The best way to go about this is to start with activities that are more demanding as to time and mental load. When you’re able to finish the heavier tasks first, you get these out of the way and you feel more productive and inclined towards being able to tackle the smaller tasks.
Plus, this also avoids the likelihood of extending those bigger work projects for many days because you keep putting it off towards the last few hours of your working schedule.
- Find out what you’re wasting time on. What are your time bandits in the office? Secretly browsing through social media? Spending longer breaks? Gossiping? When you’re able to identify what you’re wasting time on, you can start to tackle those time-consuming, unhealthy, and unproductive habits.
- Have a weekly or monthly schedule. Surely, you’ve got a daily schedule you need to stick to. For instance, this daily schedule dictates when you get up for snacks or for your lunch break.
But to be on top of your time management, it’s not just enough to have a daily planner. Stretch it out a bit by having a weekly planner. With one, it’s easier for you to insert in the week any meetings have been scheduled, for instance. That way, on those days when there are diversions from your ordinary and usual schedule, you don’t have to panic and be anxious with any work due on that day as these are finished ahead of time.
- Group similar tasks together. This strategy helps you become more efficient with your time as you can avoid jumping from one task to another. For instance, if you have five email messages to send today and fifteen calls, don’t jump from one email to another call and back and forth. The time you spend moving from the phone to the computer accumulates, which may also affect your train of thought. Instead, focus on completing those emails first, then move on to the calls, and then to the other tasks you have to finish.
Depending on the severity of how you’re feeling, work anxiety can send you off balance. The danger with this, if left to prosper, is you may even lose the drive to report to work again and even to enjoy your life outside of your job.
Stressors in the workplace happen to everyone, so don’t feel as if you’re alone in that battle. The tips above can steer you back in the right direction. This way, no matter what troubles you face at work, you’re well equipped to stay afloat. Hence, the stressors won’t escalate into something severe.