When work is driving anxiety

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Have you ever had one of those jobs that you can just tell is badly impacting your mental health? Maybe it’s one of those jobs where you’re having expectations thrust at you that you’re finding it tough to manage? Maybe someone isn’t being all that nice, maybe you’re surrounded by constantly negative people or seemingly endless to-do lists? I know that I’ve been (and currently am) in one of those situations.

It’s also one of those situations where you also can’t just quit your job- because you have rent to pay, a belly to feed and responsibilities. (Well, I know this one all too well)

So here are my tips for dealing with work driven anxiety, when you’re feeling stuck in the place you’re currently at:

Breathe

Simple, but effective. If you’re being wound up to the point where you feel like you’re about to snap, then taking a quick walk or some deep breaths slowly in and out will slow your heart rate. Anxiety and fear are very normal responses to stress… it’s your body’s way of telling you to fight or run for the hills. So instead, point your eyes about 45 degrees towards the ceiling, inhale deeply and exhale whilst whispering ‘I’m ok.’ This is the technique I learnt years ago, and it still works for me today.

Vent

I’m lucky that I have amazing family, friends and even people at work who are either a shoulder to cry on or an outlet to let my anger out at. I work with some really great people who often find themselves in similar situations to mine- and just taking your lunch break to get a little bit of that rage out is healthy and good for you.

Try and see the good bits

Look- I get it. Everything about this job feels the absolute pits. But let’s get some perspective here… there are probably nice people, the pay is ok, it’s close to home, some aspects are fun or you at least enjoy one of your tasks? Most career paths have aspects that you won’t enjoy, but taking a moment to feel gratitude for the good stuff is important.

In my case: I’m paid very well for my industry, I can listen to music and audiobooks all day and I love my friends here. All good things!

Remember that it’s only a job

I work in social media and when everything feels like it’s getting out of hand, I remember that I WORK IN SOCIAL MEDIA. It ain’t like I’m saving lives or working in A&E, At the end of the day, this is just a few silly little tweets… that will be read in a second and forgotten a second later. It’s insane really that we put so much pressure on ourselves for these sort of things!

It serves a purpose

I have this job because I enjoy it… but also it makes me money- so I can also enjoy the aspects of my life I’m really invested in. Like travelling, wedding planning, my cats or new adventures. My job is a means to an end sometimes and sometimes you need to remind yourself of that.

Job hunt

If your job has got to the point when it’s making you miserable every day- then don’t sit on your ass. Seek the change! Apply for jobs when you get home for an hour… you never know where you could end up!

Let me know if you’ve got any other advice!

Rach

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