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Anxiety at Work? Or Wanting to Get Back to Work? Here Are Some Tips!



Anxiety at Work? Or Wanting to Get Back to Work? Here Are Some Tips!


In this episode of A Healthy Push podcast, we're talking all about work-related anxiety. Whether you're dealing with it at your current job or hoping to get back to work but feeling anxious, this is for you.


When I was struggling with anxiety, panic disorder and agoraphobia, some of my worst panic attacks were at work. I can now see that what made them so bad was that I tried to resist them SO hard because I didn’t want to panic at work. I was always trying to prevent myself from feeling anxious and panicking, which just brought on more anxiety. It was such a tough cycle! Looking back, there are definitely things I would have done differently, and I want to share those tips with you!


Why Do I Feel Anxious At Work?


Alright, let’s start by talking about why, because I can promise you that it makes sense as to why you feel anxious at work!


Your brain probably has a ton of memories of feeling anxious or even panicking at work, so it's naturally going to be on high alert. Work can make you feel stuck or trapped, which fuels those anxious thoughts and feelings. Plus, work is often just plain stressful, especially if you're already on edge.


If you're anything like I was, you might be trying to fight, resist, and suppress your anxiety, but that just ends up giving it more power and making it show up even more. If any of this sounds familiar, these tips should be helpful for you...


Tips If You Currently Have A Job...


But before we dive into the tips, I want you to hear me... I’m really proud of you. It’s incredibly hard to go to a job every day when you’re struggling with anxiety, panic disorder, and agoraphobia, I know. And you’re likely not giving yourself enough credit for how huge this is.


  1. Give Yourself Some Grace It's okay to feel anxious at work; it won't always be this way. However, beating yourself up and thinking you suck because of your anxiety isn't going to help you work through it effectively.

  2. Practice Slowing Down & Supporting Yourself Feeling rushed in the morning can cause stress, leading to more anxiety and panic. Give yourself time to wake up, eat breakfast, and start your day at a relaxed pace. By slowing down and supporting yourself in small ways, you help regulate your nervous system and better manage stressors without triggering a panic attack.

  3. Take Time During The Day For Self-Care If you have a half-hour lunch break, spend 15 minutes doing something that brings you a sense of calm (or just doing something you enjoy), like going for a walk, reading, listening to a podcast, or writing. Just because you're at work doesn't mean you can't take some time for yourself.

  4. Share Your Struggles! Share what you’re struggling with! And I know it’s hard, but this will help you SO much! Share what you’re going through with a co-worker or even with your boss. Some workplaces might offer accommodations, such as additional breaks or a temporarily reduced work schedule, to help you manage your day successfully. To learn more, consider educating yourself on the Americans with Disabilities Act or checking with your Human Resources department to find out about possible accommodations.

  5. Ask For Support Don't overwhelm or stress yourself unnecessarily. If you need help, it's okay to ask for it. Everyone needs support to do their best.

How To Deal With Anxiety At Work...


You are probably reading this and wondering, what do I do when I’m at work and the anxiety becomes overwhelming? These were my biggest takeaways for what to do when anxiety showed up at work...


  • When you feel anxious at work, don’t try to ignore or resist it. Acknowledge your feelings and allow yourself to experience them. Trying to fight and suppress your anxiety often makes it worse. It's so important to practice letting yourself feel anxious without attempting to get rid of those feelings. If you experience panic attacks at work or in many other aspects of your everyday life and you want to learn how you can start responding to the sensations, symptoms, and panic attacks in a healthy way so that they stop showing up, I want you to check out my masterclass on overcoming the symptoms and panic attacks. In this 90-minute class, I help you to start approaching the symptoms and panic attacks in a healthy way so that you can finally find freedom from them!

  • You can take a break—get up and move around. Even if you're in an important meeting or presenting, remember that you're not truly stuck or trapped. It's easy to feel like nothing is within your control, but that's usually not the case. You always have control over how you respond to your thoughts, feelings, self-talk, and actions.

  • Ask for some support. You don’t have to suffer with the feelings alone.

  • You can leave if it’s really bad. Leaving IS an option!


Tips If You Don't Currently Work Due To Anxiety But Have Been Thinking About It...


I want to start by saying that I’m really proud of you for having a goal of getting back to work. To even be in the place where you’re thinking about this, wanting to do this, and figuring out how you’re going to do it… This is big! And I want you to take a moment to feel proud of yourself, too. These tips should be helpful for planning your next steps...


  1. Give Yourself Lots of Grace It's natural to feel anxious about returning to work and committing to a job, especially after a break. Anything unfamiliar or uncomfortable is bound to feel challenging; it's part of being human. It's okay and completely understandable to feel anxious about it. However, feeling anxious doesn't mean you're incapable of handling it!

  2. Is The Timing Right? The perfect time to begin considering a return to work is when you're thinking about it and feeling the desire, even if you're struggling—not necessarily when you feel completely ready, confident, or capable. Waiting for those feelings could mean waiting a really long time. So I say if you’re wondering, curious, or have been having lots of thoughts about returning to work, it’s a good time to start making moves!

  3. Tools To Support You There are lots of ways to support yourself that will help you to get back to work. This might look like eating nourishing foods, moving your body, and asking for help when needed. Practice allowing yourself to feel anxious and responding to it in a healthy way when it pops up in your everyday life. I always say that the best practice comes in your day-to-day and translates to all places and situations. Do your best to let yourself stay in the moment. If you’re someone who struggles a lot with anxious thoughts and specifically what-if thoughts… I encourage you to take my Freedom From What-If Thoughts masterclass. In this 90-minute class, I teach you lots of simple and practical steps you can take to get freedom from your anxious thoughts and the symptoms that come along with them!


Anxious at work

Finally, I want to emphasize this point, speaking from personal experience struggling with anxiety, panic disorder, and agoraphobia: There are circumstances where it's okay to prioritize your mental, emotional, and physical well-being over returning to work.


If you truly aren't able to function (or are functioning limitedly) on a daily basis because of the amount of anxiety and panic you are experiencing, it might make sense for you to focus more of your time on improving your mental, emotional, and physical health. It's important to take this time for yourself, but also crucial to take healthy steps in order to get to the place where you can return to work.


Alright, I hope this episode has been helpful for you! Until next time, keep taking healthy action.

 

Feeling like you've tried everything but you're still struggling with lots of anxious thoughts, symptoms, panic attacks, and fears? Take my FREE 60-minute masterclass today and learn 5 shifts that will actually help you to overcome anxiety, panic disorder, and agoraphobia. And I promise, you won't hear any of the usual stuff from me - like doing breathing exercises, grounding practices, cutting out caffeine, and doing more exposures. Let's get you the peace and freedom you deserve without it being so hard!


Check out my masterclasses here and start experiencing lots more peace, joy, & freedom!



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