Anxiety is something a lot of people deal with internally and feel the need to bottle it in. I deal with it every single day and it is something that becomes overbearing at times and extremely difficult. There are different practices I have implemented into my daily routine. Some at work, some at home. Nonetheless, they all make it easier to get through my days.
There are moments I will be sitting at my desk and my heart will start racing and everything around me will begin to cave in. It will feel like I am drowning in an open room. Breathing gets heavier and everything feels like it is turning against you. There is a fear you feel in this very moment because you just do not know how to make the voices stop. You do not know how to bring down your heart rate and calm yourself down. Anxiety can be life altering when not dealt with properly.
I wish I could just get read of it altogether. There is not a moment where I do not want to feel better about myself and not deal with the constant voices of panic and worry in my little head. Those voices consume your thoughts and the only voices you want consuming your thoughts are positive ones. So they can shine out of your face like light beams into something positive. When anxiety is consuming your thoughts, it shines out of your face like pure worry. Something most people do not want to deal with or do not know how to deal with it when it happens to them. Click here to read more about the truth behind my anxiety.
Can I get rid of my anxiety?!
Well if you can, I have not found that answer yet. So if you have it, let me know. I do about five different activities regularly to try to manage my mental health and this includes therapy. The truth is, I have been dealing with severe anxiety disorder since I was 11 years old. Something no 11 year old needs to be told they are dealing with.
Was I always *decent* at managing it?
Definitely not. Most of the time I have dealt with my disorder, I have been TERRIBLE at managing it. So do not take it to heart if you feel like you let your anxiety consume you and you feel incapable of doing anything because of it. You may feel like everyone around you hates you and does not want you around. Other times you may feel like everything is always going to go wrong. It is okay to be at that stage where you are discovering what works and what does not. The key is that you want to feel better. You do not want anxiety to consume you so you are willing to take the necessary measures to feel better.
Also, if you feel like you have social anxiety, this blog post I wrote might be for you to read – click here.
Down to business – what works for me?
It took a lot of trial and error to figure out what works for me in managing my anxiety. There are many activities I do outside of my office like yoga, sports, fitness, reading, writing, trying new things, etc. These are all crucial have helped me so much in managing my anxiety overall, which in turn does help me at work as well. I do recommend finding your own activities outside of your job that are NOT work related. Non-work related activities make you feel like you are part of something more. Volunteer for a great cause – do something impactful! Try new things. I promise you they will put a smile on your face and for a moment you will forget you have an annoying disorder that over consumes you on some days.
At work is different, you may feel like you are locked in and can not breathe more often because you feel like you can not just get up and start doing yoga or the activity that helps you. Find something that works that is easy and can be done throughout your day. For example, there are moments in my day I feel like I may just lose it. I could be at the edge of a break down. During those moments, I have done quite a few things that have helped me.
Find what works for you.
One of the common things I do is go for a quick walk. I am fortunate enough to work in a building that is connected to this underground path. If you are Torontonian, you know the Path. I find just clearing my head during a walk is extremely helpful and calms me down instantly. Reminding yourself to breathe during these walks or even at your desk is key to just calm down your heart rate. If you have a lounge, try moving over to the lounge and do some of your work there.
Ask your manager if you can work at the local Starbucks to change your environment. We have a common space in my office that other offices on the same two floors can also work in. This helps me feel like I am not at work anymore so I will move in there. I find changing my environment has helped me manage my anxiety in my workplace the most. Talk to your manager about different workplace options she/he recommends. Your managers have to accommodate your mental health in the end plus your health should always come first! On days that I feel like I will just break down and there is no way I can deal with being around people. I just ask to work from home.
My manager is aware of my mental health so has been open to me working from home, working from the lobby, etc. I recommend you have an open dialogue with your manager too.
Those are my ways that work for me – what are yours?
I hope this somewhat helps you have an idea on what you should do. Everyone is different and not everyone copes the same so you may have a different way that helps you. These are just my ways. There are hundreds of ways people deal with their anxiety. I would love to hear more about your own. Feel free to contact me through my contact page or social media or leave a comment below!!