While some amount of stress is inevitable in daily life, many professionals in high-pressure careers face consistently high stress levels. Anxiety can make you dread going to work, have trouble maintaining healthy relationships with colleagues or even interfere with your ability to do your job. Anxiety at work may also spill over into your home life, causing tension between you and your loved ones.
Anxiety is a diagnosable mental health disorder, but work-related stress can also lead to other problems with your overall well-being. For example, chronic stress links with cardiovascular disease, disrupted sleep, digestive issues and a suppressed immune system. Some people dealing with anxiety at work turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms to manage it, like overeating or relying on drugs or alcohol. Here are some healthy stress management techniques you can use instead.
1. Avoid Multitasking
Many busy professionals try to juggle multiple tasks at once, or bounce among several unfinished projects. Though you might think this approach makes you more productive, multitasking is a productivity and concentration killer. After a distraction, it can take almost half an hour to get back on track. If you find yourself struggling to devote your attention solely to one project, consider breaking your workday up into smaller chunks by using a timer.
2. Take a Mental Health Day
America is one of the world’s most overworked countries, with workers leaving millions of days of paid time off unused each year. If your employer gives you vacation or sick days, set a positive example by using them. When you’re struggling with your morale, taking a day or two off to reset, de-stress and center yourself can help you feel refreshed and give you a renewed enthusiasm for your job. Remember, your workplace burnout can have a ripple effect on the colleagues who rely on you, especially if it causes you to miss deadlines or ignore requests.
3. Go Outside
Spending time in nature provides a host of mental health benefits. Next time you’re feeling anxiety at work, take a break to walk around the block, or eat your lunch outside. If your schedule allows, try making time for brief exercise breaks throughout the day. These can improve your mood and help you get into better shape.
4. Listen to Music
Regardless of your preferred genre, music provides excellent stress relief before, during and after work. If distracting co-workers contribute to your anxiety at work, putting in earbuds and listening to music can help you focus on the task at hand. Upbeat music can also be motivating if you need to pump yourself up for a big meeting.
5. Set Realistic Expectations for Yourself
Professionals in industries such as health care and law tend to be overachievers who have pushed themselves to excel in their careers. However, being a perfectionist can create more anxiety at work, for yourself and your colleagues. In a busy, fast-paced job, it’s unrealistic to expect yourself to do everything perfectly all the time. Instead of berating yourself when things don’t go quite right, remember that you’re doing your best amid stressful circumstances, and congratulate yourself for a job well done. With an attitude adjustment, you may find yourself feeling much less stressed and frazzled.
Struggling With Anxiety at Work? Find the Personalized Care You Need
At Providence Treatment, we offer specialized programming for professionals in high-stress industries that are prone to burnout and behavioral health issues, including substance abuse. As a high achiever, you may find it hard to admit you have a problem you can’t solve by yourself, but our accredited team is here to help you at every step of the recovery process. Take the first step toward recovery and contact us today.