Working conditions and environment can have a huge impact on mental health and, equally, someone’s mental health can have a significant impact to perform well in their job. We recently asked some of our team members to share tips on ways to prevent anxiety and how they deal with anxiety in the workplace and this is what they had to say:
I would start by talking about the things that trigger anxiety for me, and it is things like a steady influx of messages.
This can make me worry and feel pulled in different directions, triggering some sort of anxiety for me.
What I would do in this case is:
Turn off my work notifications and check at certain points.
When I start to feel overwhelmed, I engage in activities that make me laugh, maybe watching TikToks or looking at something on the TV.
Asking for help when I feel that the work has gotten too overwhelming.
Notify your co-workers when you are not feeling well. This is important as it gets them to know in advance that you cannot work and they can find someone to help as you take your break.
Take a break- take immediate breaks and stay off social media as much as you can. Make sure you rest.
Talk to someone- when you feel anxious at work, make sure to speak to someone about it. This could be a counselor, family, friend. Let them know how you feel and maybe you might get help or answers.
Ouattara Douyeri Bessaleli
Mental health affects work by increasing absenteeism and reducing productivity.
Absenteeism: Going through a mental health issue can be very challenging, and can even affect one’s physical health. Depending on the cases, mental health issues are difficult to deal with, and the effect on work can be huge. People going through mental health issues sometimes encounter the need to be alone, without seeing or talking to anyone and that can cause absenteeism at work.
In parallel, it also affects productivity. Being absent physically is not so different from going to work but with a busy and worried spirit. Mental health issues can sincerely affect someone’s ability to focus and deliver a good job. It can slow the work down and can lead to low self-esteem.
Clear communication with your colleagues – Miscommunication leads to misunderstanding. To combat workplace anxiety try your best to communicate clearly with your fellow employees. If you’re finding it hard to understand someone or a task dealt with you, ask some follow-up questions. Questions are your friend!
Try to pinpoint the problem – Perhaps a particular aspect of work is causing you great anxiety. Take a minute to reflect on when these feelings started and what makes them stronger. I know it is scary, but once you’ve pinpointed the catalyst of your anxiety, you can begin to address it. This might include mentioning it in your next progress review or asking a colleague for help. Any good employer will already have support systems in place that can be used to help you.
Sensory toys – Whilst this isn’t a direct solution for workplace anxiety, I’ve found that using sensory or’ fidget’ toys can help alleviate some of the more physical impacts of anxiety. If you’re ever in a meeting or on a call where you begin to feel your anxiety flare-up, reaching for a sensory toy may help. Sensory toys are specifically designed for stress and unrest. There are a variety of toys out there so have a look and find one that suits you! The Tangle is my personal favorite.
Be mindful, examine anxiety with curiosity when it shows up, rather than rejecting it try to observe what happens when it shows up, what are is in your head and how do you feel when in this state.
Try not to suppress it, people generally express anxiety it in fact a normal response to stress. Let it in when it shows up. By doing this you are able to easily create a working solution in the long run when it suffices.
Practice self-care, healthy lifestyle practices help a lot to heal from it. Try sleep, exercise, etc.
Reduce caffeine intake, studies show that caffeine can increase heart rate and physiological symptoms of anxiety.
It’s important for companies to provide a safe space for their workers when it comes to dealing with mental health issues, as this can really impact the company’s overall performance and improve the relationship with its employees.