The COVID-19 virus has changed the way we work and disrupts the daily routines and systems you may have had in place to deal with the stress and anxiety from work. The emotions that come with COVID-19 can be overwhelming at times making it hard to cope with stress the way you did in the past. It is important that we find new ways of dealing with our stress and anxiety at work and knowing where to go for help during this pandemic.
Stress can be a big part of any job with high demands and stressful deadlines to hit. When your team is relying on you to perform. it puts added stress and pressure on you to deliver. That stress can sometimes develop into anxiety and depression. There can be a stigma around talking about anxiety and depression, but there is NO weakness in getting help and finding a way to deal with your mental health struggles; in fact, it is strong. Below are a few tips that could help you to manage your anxiety and stress in the workplace, and help you best look out for your well-being.
Use the resources at your disposal
You may be able to reduce the amount of work stress that you have by minimizing your workload. It may be important for you to do a lot of work yourself, but it is essential to recognize your cut off point. The pressure of having too much work to do will weigh heavy on you. Asking for help and delegating tasks that aren’t top of your priority can give you a chance to breathe, collect yourself, and do a better job overall.
Go for a walk outside at lunch
When people are busy, they might decide to carry on working through their lunch break, however, this can be detrimental to your mental health. Taking a small amount of your day to dedicate to yourself can make you feel a lot better. You can go for a walk outside to reconnect with nature and clear your head; you could even let yourself meditate for a few minutes when you go to the bathroom.
Fight anxiety through self-care
This may seem logical, but when you are stressed and anxious, you could end up spending all of your time worrying about everything else but yourself. To be able to work to the best of your ability, you need to be taking care of yourself properly. To do this, you should:
- Exercise – There are plenty of exercises that you can do that will help you to bust your stress. Exercise, from running and football to Zumba and Crossfit, can help to make you feel better because your brain releases endorphins that can improve your mood and reduce your stress and anxiety.
- Sleep – If you don’t get enough sleep, it can be hard to focus, and it can put you in a bad mood. You need to make sure that you get enough sleep for your body every night, even if that means going to sleep an hour earlier than you usually would.
- Eat properly – Ensuring that you have a relatively balanced diet will help to improve your overall mood because you will have the right vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function properly. Eating too many foods that are high in sugar will affect your blood sugar, and later on in the day, you will end up feeling tired and irritable.
- Socialize with friends – While it’s important to social distance when in public, that does not mean cut off contact with the outside world. It’s easy to feel alone right now due to the limited interaction with our peers at work and our friends outside of work. So make sure that not all of your Zoom calls are work-related. Schedule times to meet with your friends on Zoom or over the phone and be social! Besides, your friends will appreciate you checking in on them during this tough time.
Minimize screentime and exposure to news
Yes, it’s important to stay up to date. But too much exposure to screens, social media, and the 24 hours news cycle can be damaging to your mental health. Try checking the news at specific times of the day and resist the urge to check it on your phone in the meantime. Keep your social media interactions positive and avoid fake news sources designed to create fear.
Ask for help
When you recognize that things are getting worse, it is okay to ask for help. Speak to a trusted family member or a doctor. They may be able to find you a therapist that can help you talk through anything that you are dealing with. Do not feel alone, there are millions of people out there experiencing added anxiety at work right now. There is always somebody out there that you can go to for help. In fact, here are a few resources you can use to get help right away if you ever need to.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifelineexternal icon
- Toll-free number 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
- The Online Lifeline Crisis Chatexternal icon is free and confidential. You’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor in your area.
- National Domestic Violence Hotlineexternal icon
- Call 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224
If you are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety:
- Disaster Distress Helplineexternal icon
- Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746