February 7, 2023

When anxiety kicks in at work, what can you do to stay on top of it and remain productive?

Anxiety can make it hard to concentrate at work. Many people feel anxious at work, but they also have to complete their responsible tasks. Feeling anxious can affect the quality of your work, your work-life balance, and your relationships with colleagues and managers.

The foundation for reducing your work anxiety is by having a personal wellness plan. By focusing on yourself, you can prevent anxiety at work and manage your responsibilities even in hard times.

So, here are 7 things you can do to stay afloat if you’re looking for advice on how to manage anxiety at work:

Learn not to fear anxiety

When you feel anxious at work, be assured that it does not imply that you’re incompetent. It’s often the fear of an impending anxiety attack that affects us more than the anxiety itself. Hence, trying to ‘get rid’ or control your anxiety may not be a healthy approach to take. The key to managing anxiety lies in understanding it first. Identify the emotional, physical, or environmental triggers that create anxiety in the first place. It can be anything – a new big project, an unfamiliar task, or handling a dispute at work. Once it’s identified, sit with it and build awareness of the feelings that come and go.

Set reasonable goals to avoid anxiety

When you set unrealistic goals for yourself to achieve, it automatically kicks in anxiety. It is this anxiety that then results in procrastination. If it’s a big task that makes you anxious, spend the first 10-20 minutes analysing the task, breaking down the process into small steps, and tackling one step at a time.

When you set practical and SMART goals, you know what to get done first and how to complete the whole task in small actionable steps.

Also, do get help from a mental health coach if you struggle with goal setting and achieving your goals due to anxiety.

Take breaks regularly

Our brain is not programmed in a way where it works 24/7 with full productivity, especially when you’re stressed. Your brain must get some rest to work effectively, even when you’re anxious. Even a 10-minute mindful break can be enough to reduce your anxiety level and help you work with clarity. You can talk to someone you love, go for a quick walk, or drink a cup of water to soothe your mind. Take regular breaks and schedule them if doing that doesn’t come naturally to you. You need the downtime to prepare for an upward thrust.

Stay organised at work

When your work environment is always cluttered, it’ll make you feel more anxious and lower your productivity. To increase your productivity at work, make sure your workspace is organised and clean. Do not underestimate the impact of doing that. It helps you focus on your tasks rather than staring at the mess around.

Stay organised also means how you take care of the digital clutter on your digital devices. If you’re so anxious about a project, create a to-do list and prioritise the tasks in order of importance. Finally, don’t over-commit yourself. Say “no” when you need a break.

Be kind to yourself

Be kind to yourself before being kind to others – this is rule number one.

Anxiety tends to make you feel overwhelmed whenever you try to do something new or challenging. But when you look closer, the distress gets exacerbated because we continue judging and belittling ourselves for not doing enough. Therefore, treat yourself with some extra care whenever needed to avoid this anxiety loop. Don’t push yourself hard; instead give yourself some time to reflect back and catch a breath.

Eat breakfast and stay hydrated

Last but not least, it’s baffling how many of us are anxious because we miss the most important meal of the day: breakfast. Sometimes, all you need is nutrition and a good dose of carbs to fuel you. Nutrition and hydration are the fundamentals of keeping a healthy gut which, in turn, ensures that your body is enough to tolerate the emotional ups and downs that are associated with cognitively demanding tasks. Start your day with a glass of fresh water. Instead of drinking soda or any other cold drinks, have water to boost your productivity and reduce anxiety. Keep a colourful water bottle near you and take a sip once every hour if you’re a person who forgets to drink water all day.

If you are feeling anxious at work frequently, working with a life coach in Australia can help you get back to a happy and relaxed life. Get in touch with our mental health coach by booking a free session today.