Yes, it’s Halloween, and it’s also the last day of disability employment awareness month. This, to me, sounds like the perfect time to talk about anxiety in the workplace. No, I promise it won’t be scary, but something that doesn’t get talked about enough.
You might not think it, but although I often seem cool, calm, and composed, I am also prone to spikes of anxiety. All sorts of things can trigger it; a sudden schedule change, an upcoming meeting, someone’s bad attitude, or something else entirely outside of work. This last month in particular, I have had to exercise and my methods of managing said anxiety so it doesn’t interfere with work. Maybe these tips will help you in navigating your anxious moments, or educate employers on how to support a staff member during these times. I would love to hear others’ thoughts and open up a stronger dialogue to raise awareness around such an important issue.
As a blind person, I am constantly receiving auditory information. When not in meetings or conversation, I often listen to music or a book; something familiar. This helps me direct my focus away from what’s making me anxious and into the tasks at hand.
It may sound a bit crazy, but I am a firm believer in the various powers of crystals, from healing to protection to clearing negative energy. The stones give me something tangible to feel when the world gets topsy-turvy, and I keep them all around me most places I go. Sometimes just knowing they’re there and that they have properties helping me out is enough to calm the waters and redirect my mind.
We hear all the time how important time management is, and I understand that it gets old. However, being aware of my anxious time is important for emotional management. Sometimes, I’ll allow myself a specific amount of time to get lost in my thoughts and let the feelings wash over me before snapping out of the turmoil and into the physical world.
A Quiet Space
A quiet space can be crucial for allowing that time, calming the mind and refocusing attention. Sometimes that means closing a door, taking a walk, or going for lunch, as long as those moments to me are achieved. Carefully timed and strategically planned, I always come out refreshed afterwords and ready to take on whatever else the day brings.
It’s helpful for me to express my thoughts and unclutter my mind. Sometimes this is done by talking through them, or writing them out. For some, this includes counseling, but doesn’t have to. After all, therapy can take all kinds of forms and it’s important to find the one that works for you and helps you navigate your situation.
Want to see a creative form of self expression in action?
You’re welcome to check out and subscribe to Friendship Is My Oxygen, a podcast made by some friends and I which uses 3d audio to chronicle the thoughts feelings and moments we encounter while our classmate battles serious illness.
How do you handle anxiety at work?
Leave a comment below, or connect on social media.