How to deal with anxiety in the workplace

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Anxiety is something I've dealt with for most of my life but it became more of a prominent issue in my teen years and then throughout my adult life, where I've learnt to cope with it a lot more.

Anxiety is something that I've experienced in all areas of life including the workplace. Over the years, it has gotten better, but I've had many jobs and it has always been up and down, but there are some techniques that I've found to help with work anxiety.

Dealing with anxiety at work

If you're experiencing anxiety in the workplace and unsure how to deal with it, here are my best tips on coping with anxiety in the workplace.

Prepare for meetings

Anxiety is all about staying in control as change and uncertainty are often the things that can trigger or cause it. However, it isn't feasible to always be in control, we can't control how life will pan out sometimes and that's okay. Saying that there are ways to keep it at bay and have some level of control over your anxiety in the workplace, and one of those ways is preparing for meetings.

This is a tip that has really helped me. I'm one of those people who get really anxious for meetings and speaking up in front of people, so having some level of preparation can keep those thoughts at bay. This can be listing some initial ideas I've had prior to the meeting, looking at the agenda and writing out what I need to say, or simply practicing what I'm going to say to myself. All this prep helps me speak with more confidence as I have the assurance my mind is less likely to go blank if I have points written on paper.

Take the time out when needed 

Mental health days are important and this is something I've only taken seriously this past year. Before, I felt guilty taking time away if my anxiety was bad or I wasn't feeling right as physically I looked normal. However, the effect my mental health was having meant I couldn't work at my usual pace - and really, my work and overall outlook at work would be impacted.

This is why it's so important to take the time out for yourself. A job isn't worth your mental health and I can understand that's quite a privileged statement to make as some people can't afford to take sick days or to quit when things get hard. However, taking time out doesn't necessarily have to just mean sick days away from the office, it can mean, stepping outside on your break, talking to your manager to pull you out of a meeting or asking to be put on other tasks. Obviously, this is all just ideas as each working environment is different to the next - but what's important is you have the time away to look after yourself, in whatever form that can be.

Write a positivity log

This is something a colleague mentioned to me quite recently as my anxiety has been bad at work and I thought it was a genius idea. Anxiety often stems from not feeling good enough and that's why things such as affirmations and being kinder to yourself can help.

With a positivity log, it's a great space to fill out all the nice things colleagues or managers have told you about your work or yourself, and when you're feeling anxious or not good enough at work, you can read it as an important reminder.

Talk to your boss about how you're feeling

Your boss or manager is there to ensure you're happy and content in your role, and that means if anxiety is causing you a problem at work, speak to them. They may be able to offer you different ways to help cope with your anxiety or simply, just be someone to chat to so you don't feel alone. Help is different for everyone when it comes to anxiety so don't be disheartened if they suggest something and it doesn't work for you, keep trying as you can find the thing to help you cope with it.

Keep hydrated

Keeping hydrated is very important for every part of life. But a healthy body is a healthy mind and although it's not necessarily going to help you deal with anxiety, it will help your body feel nourished and taken care of as you pace through the day. 

Practice breathing exercises

I know the worst thing to hear when you're anxiety is bad is 'just breathe and you'll be okay' but it can help, if done right. There are so many breathing techniques that you can use and mediation apps which help enforce that. My favourite is the 5 rule, which a colleague actually told me about. It's to look around and spot 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste. This should help to ground you and bring you back to the present.

Map out your day

With anxiety, excessive thoughts fly about all over the place and that doesn't help when you need to focus on the task at hand. One way to conquer this is to make a to-do list of things you need to get done that day, what your main priorities are and then also noting in the meetings you have too. With a plan of the day, you'll have a clear focus of what to do and then, you'll have less time for thoughts to sway.

Find a way to get into your zone

We all have that one thing that helps our anxiety and gives us clear focus. It could be shutting the world out with music, working with someone else or going out for a clear walk. Try and figure out whatever that thing is for you and implement it as much as you can to lessen your anxiety in the workplace.

Know those bad anxiety days are okay

Again, this is one point I've only been able to stomach recently. I always felt so guilty when my anxiety was bad or I was triggered easily as it affected my work and the performance I gave. However, when living with anxiety, it's normal to have good and bad days, and on the bad days, it's important to look after yourself with a little bit more tender loving care and asserting the ideas that it's okay not to be okay.

Remember your progress 

When I'm having an anxious day at work, something I like to focus on is my progress. I've come a long way in terms of my anxiety and I'm sure you have too. It's important to acknowledge that and know you're on the healing journey to becoming your best self.

Use essential oils

I love essential oils, they can do so much to help your anxiety. Although you can't always bring essential oils in the workplace with you, you can have a diffuser up in your home at all times, circulating the scent around and giving you a sense of calm. If you're looking for what essential oils to buy, this essential oil guide is for you.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What other tips do you have?

Thank you for reading <3

56 comments

  1. Thank you for this. I'm lucky that I work from home and since moving to work from home my work-related anxiety has decreased massively. I completely agree that staying hydrated and mapping out your day can be a great way to deal with work-related anxiety and it's two practices that I still implement. However, I think I'd like to start a positivity log too.

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    1. I'm really glad to hear that! I hope the positivity log works for you xx

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  2. This is a really wonderful post, it's super helpful in bringing awareness to this issue. Speaking to your boss can be a big help, particularly having a boss who you know is going to be supportive. People are becoming more aware of mental health, and the importance of taking care of yourself so it's really important to keep sharing things like this. I've found that the best thing to do when I'm struggling is to take a mental health day, no questions asked, just a day off from the world and that is often the biggest help (also helps that my boss understands)!

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    1. Thank you so much!! I completely agree and I'm thankful to have an amazing boss too xx

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  3. Thank you for sharing this Della! I truly dreaded speaking in front of other people at work and train them as I never felt good enough to do it, but having points prepared before always helped! I love the idea of a positivity log and need to check out some breathe exercises too x

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    1. Thank you so much! I'm glad those tips helped you xx

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  4. What a helpful post! I've been working from home for a long time now, but I know that I always used to feel anxious at the office, so if I ever have to go back I'll come back to this post for sure xx

    Hannah | https://luxuryblush.co.uk/

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  5. such a helpful post. My previous job used to fill me with all kinds of anxiety and worries but prepping was my key to success. I felt like if I knew everything I needed inside out, I'd be able to smash everything!

    Rosie

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  6. I've been working from home for a year now but yes I feel the anxiety when I used to work at the office. I agree that staying hydrated and planning out my to-do list will help to deal with my anxiety. Thanks for sharing this x

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  7. Taking a time out is so important- and I always go to the toilet or pop outside if I need a minute to myself x

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  8. Preparing for meetings is so important, it definitely makes me less anxious if I'm prepared!

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  9. This is a beautiful post, definitely very important. Thank you for sharing your tips, I'm sure they will be helpful to not only me but others too.

    xoxo Olivia | http://www.oliviaandbeauty.com/

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  10. Awesome tips, definitely we need positivity to cover
    negativity and anxiety..

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  11. These are all great tips. I definitely experience anxiety at work and I try my best to focus on the positive and prepare for meetings and things ahead of time. I will try some of the others. Thank you!

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  12. Hi Della. This is a really helpful post, thank you. I've tended to cope with stress and anxiety in the past by thinking 'What is the worst that can happen?' and 'How likely is it that it will happen?' - this helped put things in perspective and reduced, and often completely eliminated, and such feelings. That said, the whole Coronavirus situation has managed to circumvent that approach because the 'worst that can happen' part has become death! I've had to really focus on the 'how likely' part and, fortunately, the vaccines and lockdowns have helped give some perspective.

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  13. Great tips, Della! Mapping out my day is a must whenever I can sense anxiety looming around work, it's always nice to feel like you have that to resort to or rely on. Prep is great for that too! Fortunately my job is way less anxiety inducing now, but these tips are still so useful to me now :)

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    1. Thank you so much! I'm really glad you're feeling less anxious now xx

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  14. This is a fantastic post - you've outlined a lot of wonderful ways to support anxiety within the workplace which was be so difficult at times. Taking some time to really figure out what works best with your work environment is so key and you've given a lot of suggestions! This post is going to help a lot of people - thanks for sharing it!

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  15. Incredible post! Thank you so much for sharing this! These suggestions are so useful and they will help a lot of people! I like to do some preparation on what I'm going to say before meetings or presentations and it is so helpful in dealing with speaking in front of people!

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  16. I love all of these methods for dealing with anxiety in the workplace, keeping hydrated and preparation are key! x

    Lucy | www.lucymary.co.uk

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  17. You've shared some fantastic tips, I've never tried a positivity log but I have found that writing down whats making me feel anxious helps. I'm going to give that one a try for sure. Thank you for sharing these.

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  18. Thank you so much for sharing this. The breathing and essential oils are great suggestions. I have some stress at work with a lot of transitions and I will keep this in mind to help. Thanks!
    ~ Andrea | acaponeconnection.co

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  19. These are great tips. I definitely have to write notes before an important meeting else my mind just goes completely blank and I contribute nothing.

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  20. I so agree with you on mental health days. I'm a big advocate on taking sick days for one's mental health as it's a big component to our overall health. These are all really great tips and so helpful.

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  21. They are very different tips from each other and good to know you covered different angles to it. I'm gon a tey that 5 rule it sounds so cool! Getting out if your zone and listening to music is great. The time out for yourself sometimes doeant work ne cause once does get distracted from here and there a d a new task comes. Enjoyed the suggestions I think many would thank you for trying that 5 point rule. Xx
    Isa A. Blogger
    https://bit.ly/39f9FN0

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  22. These are great tips. I like to have my day planned as best I can, if I know what is going on I feel more at ease.

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  23. I love essential oils, they can do so much to help my anxiety cheap lace wigs

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  24. I never have anxiety at workplace but these advice are very helpful. Thank you for sharing.

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  25. I remember I used to have THE WORST days in school to the point where I get anxious to go to school but I still go anyway. This is helpful info you shared here. It's important to have someone to talk to and to plan out your day so it would feel like the day's over quickly. Do what you need to do and process your emotions on your own time.


    www.lifebeginsattwenty.com

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  26. I can totally relate to this! Especially right after Uni when I started my first marketing job! I definitely had some lavender and peppermint oils I'd roll on my wrist so I could smell when i would feel overwhelmed! Thanks for sharing xx

    Lynn | https://www.lynnmumbingmejia.com

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  27. These are some great suggestions to help cope with anxiety. I like to talk to people about how I am feeling and making small goals. Do not be afraid to take a sick day. Thank you for sharing.

    Lauren

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  29. Thank you for sharing, as someone that struggles with anxiety at work, in a stressful enviroment, where people are not always kind to you in expecting you and talking to your manager is not right till you actually have an issue, these tips are sort of useful once I'm home

    Nic | Nic's Adventures & Bakes

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  30. There's a book called 'Eat That Frog' which I usually go by to help me. Your frog is usually the task you are dreading. It's as if to say eating the frog is the worst thing you have to do that day and you spend the whole day dreading it, so just eat it first thing and then you can get it out of the way! I now always do those thing I'm stressed about first!

    Corinne x
    www.skinnedcartree.com

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  31. This is a great post filled with amazing suggestions. It is a great reminder. I need to like looking after myself more. I love using breathing techniques with my anxiety. Thank you for sharing.

    goalofhappiness.com

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