How to deal with work-related anxiety and stress

January 5, 2015 § Leave a comment

It’s 7.30am and I’m sitting in front of my computer ready to jump into things. I considered spending a few hours yesterday going over the work priorities and sorting everything I left unresolved last year. But then I decided to enjoy the last few hours of holidays and come in early today.
Looking at my inbox and to-do list it would be very easy to panick and become stressed. But since I’ve had more than my fair share of that last year I’m deciding to switch gears and re-frame all of this.
Here’s my technique:

1. Take a deep breath. And one more. Take as many breaths as I need until I start feeling a bit better.
2. Write down everything that’s weighing me down. Since I’m picturing all my projects and worries as a constellation, I’m considering drawing up a super simple chart since it helps to have everything mapped out.
3. Figure out the priorities – yes, everything will shout at you. And while everything may be important, not everything is urgent. What must I get done today?
4. Dealing with stressful people – this is a big one for me. Since I hate disappointing people and hate tensed situations I feel like it’s my duty to do absolutely everything to make sure I avoid such situations and people are 100% happy with me all the time.
I plan to tweak this strategy. I will always be involved and very responsible, but I should not seek other people’s happiness at all cost.
5. Start somewhere. This goes back to # 3 above – when work is piling up high, it’s easy to get trapped into anxiety and let go of everything. Instead, I will start where I can start and go from there.
6. Detach yourself and think ‘will this matter 10 years from now’? Even a 3 week perspective can make a difference.
In hindsight a lot of the things that stressed me out completely a few years ago seem really trivial now.
7. Have some fun! Again, this is a big one for me. This year I would like to figure some stress outlets – be they exercise, friends, love, music, hobbies. Not everything is about work and balance is absolutely mandatory.

I’m sure I’ll come up with more guidelines but hopefully I will keep the above with me as my mantra through the months to come… šŸ™‚

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