Work is a great way to develop new skills, be an active part of the community, cooperate with others to achieve common goals, as well as many other benefits to our mental health.
Most jobs will also involve a range of stressors and pressures that can negatively affect your mental wellbeing, but these needn’t determine your wellbeing in the workplace.
Use these tips from our experienced counsellors to avoid and manage anxiety at work:
1. Avoid workplace gossip. Engaging in negative conversations about your colleagues or employer can disrupt the sense of community and create an unpleasant working environment. Try to keep your conversations positive and resolve personal conflicts directly, or get in touch with the HR department if required.
2. Actively manage your time. Think ahead and prioritise your tasks according to their deadline and importance, so you can avoid unnecessary stress. Don’t forget to allocate time for additional work that may come your way.
3. Take 10 deep breaths. If you notice yourself getting anxious, try a simple breathing exercise like this one to reset your fight-or-flight mode and bring your attention back to the task at hand.
4. Take regular breaks. Stepping away from your workspace to stretch your legs or have a quiet moment to yourself may be all it takes to recharge and reduce feelings of anxiety.
5. Leave your work at your workplace. Don’t let your work interfere with your personal life. It’s important to take a mental break from work to de-stress and put work into perspective.
6. Engage in healthy activities outside of work. Physical activity is a great way to reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety. Find enjoyable ways to get active by making it social or trying these fun ideas.
7. Eat a nutritious & balanced diet. A healthy diet will ensure you have adequate and sustained energy to complete your work throughout the day. Find out which foods can improve anxiety symptoms in this article.
8. Get a good night’s sleep. Commit to getting at least 7hrs of good quality sleep every night, and establish a regular sleep routine if possible. This will give your brain and body the recovery time it needs to tackle challenges throughout the day.
9. Put your personal leave to good use. Taking time away from work, whether it’s a big or small break, is good for your overall wellbeing. This is a great way to distance yourself from the stressors of your workplace, so you can return with a fresh perspective and greater resilience.
10. Get support if you need it. If you feel like you need help to manage your anxiety, there are options available. You can talk to your manager directly about reducing your workload or access free counselling through your employer’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP). If you’re a young person in Australia and your mental health is affecting your ability to maintain work, you can receive free and ongoing help through our real-time, app-based employment support program, YAppEE.
YAppEE gives you the support you need, when you need it, with a team of experienced counsellors ready to take your call. Find out more here or email YAppEE to find out how you can join the program today.