Four Actionable Tips and Resources to Tackle Anxiety at Work

Four Actionable Tips and Resources to Tackle Anxiety at Work

The economy, world events and the news are constantly changing, and it is affecting employees everywhere. These real-world stresses are manifesting their ways into employees’ daily work lives.

According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, nearly 70% of workers say that their anxiety moderately affects their workday. Additionally, 40% have said that anxiety causes persistent stress in both their workday and personal life.

Having high anxiety is not sustainable and can lead to burnout and greater mental hardship. Taking steps to address these feelings is important and should done in a timely manner.

Read below to learn how to reduce your anxieties and improve your workday.

Limit Your Time Online

It is easy to get wrapped up in alarming headlines about layoffs, health threats, rising housing/food costs and more. The American Psychological Association have conducted studies that show the more people read the news, the more likely they are to develop anxiety symptoms or disorders.

Staying in touch with current events is important, but when too much is being consumed, it can take a massive toll on mental health.  With the power of smartphones, news and headlines are accessible everywhere you go, and it can feel very hard to disconnect.

This act of consistently reading alarming news stories is known as “doom scrolling” and it is impacting workers across the U.S. For example, if someone is constantly reading articles about companies that are making layoffs, they can find themselves nervous about the state of their job and might have great feelings of anxiety when they go into work.

In addition to being mindful about the kinds of content you are consuming online; consider the amount of time you are spending on your phone overall. According to a study done by Piedmont, excessive smartphone use can directly affect your sleep due to bright lights blocking melatonin secretion which is the hormone that regulates sleep. When you have disrupted sleep, this could lead to higher feelings of anxiety.

Whether you are at work or at home, take time to turn off your phone and live in the moment without any outside distractions. Doing this simple task consistently, over an extended period of time, can go a long way and greatly improve your mood.

Make Time for Wellness and Self-Care

Even though work is important, taking care of yourself should be your priority. Without a clear and healthy self, your work will not be able to get done in an effective or productive manner.

In a study from the University of York, it was found that going outside and engaging in activities, like sports and nature walking, can greatly reduce anxiety and help an individual’s mood overall.

For example, simply taking 20 minutes out of the day to take a walk around the block can reduce stresses and help you get into a better mindset.

While at work, you can practice similar self-care tactics, such as:

  • Avoid eating your lunch at your desk
  • Schedule pauses and downtime during the workday
  • Socialize with coworkers
  • Utilize your paid time off

Self-care at home can look like taking a bath, eating your favorite food, getting an extra hour of sleep or hanging out with an old friend.

Reduce Caffeine Consumption

When you are looking for a quick pick me up, you might consider drinking a cup of coffee or a soda. However, having excessive amounts of caffeine can worsen anxiety symptoms and have negative effects on your daily wellness.

According to Medical News Today, having too much caffeine can cause feelings of nausea, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, insomnia and more. All these symptoms can directly affect your workday and make any existing anxieties even worse.

Here are some actionable tips to help you stay awake and alert at work, include:

  • Invest in a standing desk
  • Practice deep breathing between meetings
  • Increase Vitamin C intake
  • Sip on herbal tea

If you rely on caffeine to wake up in the morning, consider alternative measures like drinking a cold glass of water, exercising before starting your day or going outside shortly after you wake up.

Reach Out for Help

When you are struggling with facing issues, finding solace in others can help your worries and improve your workday.

If you feel comfortable, have a sit-down conversation with a trusted manager or human resources representative to let them know that you are facing mental struggles with anxiety. This can lead to a conversation about tools and resources that are available through the company, and what can be done to help you get through this difficult time. Also, consider actions you can take in your personal life such as talking with a trusted friend or family member or seeing a professional counselor.

While it’s important to take care of yourself, companies should also be actively looking out for the wellness of their employees and provide resources.

Many companies have implemented mental health resources for their employees to tackle these types of problems to help employees who are going through mental hardships. For example, ScriptDoc, a healthcare technology company, implemented a mandatory mental health day off each month for all their employees. Duolingo, the language learning startup, offers their employees an on-site gym and a fully paid membership to to make sure they are in a healthy mindset both in and out of work.

Balancing work and family life can be overwhelming. If you are dealing with anxiety at work, it is important to tackle those anxieties head on, so they do not manifest into something bigger.