If you’ve ever had anxiety you will know that it is scary, isolating and sometimes life-changing.
It evades every part of your life. Professionally, it can affect the quality of your work and your relationships with colleagues.
No one is exempt from anxiety, from graduate interns to the highest CEO. In fact, it is estimated that one in nine individuals in Ireland will suffer from an anxiety disorder over the course of their lifetime. This number is steadily rising.
Although your anxiety may never fully go away, here are just some coping mechanisms that you can try out this winter. And remember, you should always tell someone if you are struggling.
If a large project seems overwhelming, break it up into smaller tasks and create a step-by-step plan. Use tools like Trello to keep a track of your to-do list. Try to do the hardest task first so that the rest of the project seems more enjoyable.
Cut back on caffeine
That 10am latte might be delicious but it could also be exaggerating the symptoms of anxiety. Caffeine can increase your heart rate, cause stomach issues and promote tremors, all things that you do not want to have to deal with.
Don’t ignore it
Stifling your feelings is counterproductive. Anxiety is a normal response to stress, whenever it starts to creep into your life you should embrace it. Try to figure out why you are feeling this way and what you can do to make it better. Don’t bottle everything up.
Get outside at lunchtime
Exercise is considered vital for maintaining mental fitness and is known to reduce stress and anxiety. I’m not saying you need to run a 5k every lunchtime, even a quick walk around the block can be hugely beneficial. Don’t believe me? Just try it.
Talk it out
Anxiety can feel like there are competing negative voices in your head. These voices try to make you believe that everything is going wrong. One quick way to diminish these feelings is to openly talk about your emotions with a trusted colleague or friend. They will help you to gain perspective.
If you feel anxiety creeping in, take a step back from what you are doing, close your eyes and just breathe. If you have trouble calming your mind try this simple exercise. List three things that you can hear, two things that you can feel and one thing that you can taste. Take a moment to steady yourself before you go back to work.