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How to Handle Work Anxiety (Especially During a Pandemic)

If you find yourself anxious at work, or even just anxious in general lately, you’re not alone. Turning on the news can set anyone off, especially as we all hear about a rise in case numbers and hospitalizations surrounding the pandemic. Take that mentality into work, and any professional stress greeting you could easily send you into a tailspin.

Don’t let things outside of your control, control your life. Retake hold of it and release the anxiety by following these 7 tips.

#1 Step Away From the Computer

The same could be said for any device that provides you access to your email, documents, software, and anything pertaining to work. Not only does this encourage a mental break, but physically getting up and moving allows your body to destress and get the blood flowing. If it’s hard to remember to step away periodically, set an alarm either on your phone or right on your computer for an additional reminder.

Make a List

Writing things down provides a sense of control and eases anxiety. Crossing things off a list gives anyone that feeling of accomplishment and control necessary to concentrate and complete tasks effectively. The list acts as a guide for prioritizing responsibilities and putting your focus where it needs to be.

Talk to Colleagues

Whether done in-person or virtually, human interaction can be just the anxiety slayer this current environment calls for. Sharing something as simple as your fear of not getting an assignment completed on time can help free some of that anxiety. It’s amazing what the power of saying something out loud can do when you’re anxious. Talking to colleagues can also help break up the monotony of the day-to-day rigmarole.

Stretch and Breathe

Have you ever gotten up in the morning and stretched your body out? Not a bad body reset at all. Now imagine performing the same action throughout the workday, whether that’s sitting at a desk, standing at a work station, or doing a specific movement over and over, it helps to stop and stretch your body out. Toss in some deep breaths and even a few breathing exercises, and you can considerably help out your anxiety.

Ask for Help

If you don’t know how to delegate, learn, and quickly, for your own sanity. When work is busy, it becomes almost a subconscious reaction to say yes when someone asks you to do something. What’s one more thing on your plate if there are already 100 things there? Ask for help when you have so many responsibilities in front of you that you feel an emotional breakdown coming on.

Keep Perspective

Emotions can play tricks on the reality of any situation. An anxious mind can pull you in different directions when you feel overwhelmed or overworked. Try to keep perspective of what’s really happening around you and train yourself to go about anxious situations appropriately. Don’t use words like “always” or “never” that pigeonhole you, and focus on the facts of a situation.

Utilize Resources

Most workplaces have access to counseling or programs that can connect employees with mental health resources and professionals. Speaking up about needing help can be uncomfortable, but not speaking can be worse. Anxiety isn’t something that goes away without you playing an active role in your health and wellness. When you are anxious in one aspect of your life, it can affect every part. So, facing the anxiety head-on will have a positive impact on both your personal and professional life. And who wouldn’t want that?

Remember, you’re not alone if anxiety is an emotion you’re feeling at work. What tips would you offer to colleagues who are also feeling anxious? Join the conversation on LinkedIn and check out Business Planning for 2021.