Anxiety is one of the most common mental health problems in today’s society. As an old proverb says: your body reflects your mind. Having high anxiety often lead to physical issues including tight muscles, bad sleep, migraines, and even severe diseases.
Among all sources of anxiety and stress, I think we can all agree that work comes out on top of the list. So, what should we do about all that work stress? Here are 10 ways to reduce anxiety from work:
- Practice mindfulness
- Set healthy boundaries
- Treat yourself after a long work day
- Don’t skip lunch
- Move around
- Talk to your support circle
- Don’t take work problems home
- Allow yourself to rest
- Allow failures
- Have something that matters more than work in your life!
1. Practice Mindfulness
This might sound like meaningless hippie talk, but mindfulness is a powerful weapon against work anxiety if you know what you’re doing. There are great ways to practice mindfulness at home, such as keeping a journal or buying more house plants (yes!).
Mindfulness allows you to see through the day to day and understand the value and intention behind your work and other things you do. This helps you to focus on the bigger picture and can reduce anxiety and frustration..
2. Set Healthy Boundaries
We’ve all felt like a doormat at work, and it definitely isn’t the easiest thing to set boundaries with your colleagues and even supervisors. However, it’s important to set boundaries at work so you can maintain your peace once you are off the clock.
And if you find it impossible to set any healthy boundaries with people you work with: are you sure you want to waste yoru life away at a toxic environment any longer?
3. Treat Yourself After a Long Day
Rewards are always the easiest way to lift your mood. Therefore, treat yourself if you’ve had a high-anxiety work day. Take a walk, rewatch your favorite show on Netflix, or take yourself out on a date if you can afford that. We know you might feel like crashing at home after a long day, but some times putting in the extra effort to actually treat yourself will do wonders.
4. Don’t Skip Lunch
Work gets hectic, and anxiety kicks in. Maybe you have a deadline you must catch, or you just don’t feel motivated enough to step away from your pose. But you really shouldn’t skip lunch if you’re working.
A healthy diet is essential if you want to reduce anxiety from work. Plus, maintaining a high fiber, high vitamin diet also improves your physical health, which makes you more resilient to stress.
5. Move Around
Even if you’re only bailing out for a five-minute “smoke break,” do it. Physically moving your body or changing your surroundings can break you from an anxiety cycle. Allow yourself to take a breather. Take a stroll to the bathroom if that’s your only option, but don’t feel like you have to be stuck at work the entire time.
6. Talk to Your Supprot Circle
Nobody should deal with life alone. Make sure you have a support circle, may it be friends, long-term collegaues, or family members. These people should understand your needs to vent and be able to be good listeners while providing helpful, constructive feedbacks to help you navigate through a stressful situation at work.
However, be careful to not surround yourself with enablers. Those people don’t really care about you getting better. They’ll literally say yes to everything you bring up and watch you dig your own grave and sabotage yourself!
7. Don’t Take Work Problems Home
This one is easier said than done, but does the most wonders when you really need to reduce anxiety from work. There are different ways to do this, too. Personally, I recommend having some decompression time between work and home. This might be challenging for those working from home, of course. In that case, try to get out of the house after your usual work day and allow at least thirty minutes away before going back to the same space.
8. Allow Yourself to Rest
We tend to justify our needs to rest because our society convinced us that wanting to rest is laziness. Well, that is not true. Even machines need maintainance, how could humans keep working without any stop? Draw yourself a nice bubble bath, or have your foot massager ready to go. Turn your phone off on the weekends if your schedule allows. Similarly, mute your notifications before going to bed.
You should be given private time to recover from work anxiety and welcome a new day with a refreshed mind.
9. Allow Failures
Your supervisors may grill you for making mistakes at work, but that’s exactly why you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself. You’re human, and there are always things to learn. Allow yourself to fail as long as you reflect on what went wrong and do better next time. There is absolutely no reason to beat yourself up for failing, because I’m sure you’ve tried your best and you never wanted anything to go wrong.
10. Have Something More Than Work
The best way to reduce anxiety from work is understanding work is not everything. You should have something more valuable to you than your job. Maybe it’s a hobby, maybe it’s your kid… Maybe you have a side hustle you’re dedicating yourself to currently.
A job in itself is nothing more than a paycheck. It’s your personal growth, happiness, and accomplishment that truly matter. Once you understand there are so many things in life that are more important than work, you’ll realize the stress you used to struggle with isn’t that big of a deal at all.