The alarm goes off and immediately you get that sinking feeling. It’s Monday morning and all you can think of is the fantastic weekend that has now passed and the fact that, in just a couple of hours, you’ll be at work. You feel sick, close to tears.
If this feeling continues throughout the week, you join the countless people who suffer from the same work-based anxiety. It can be debilitating, career-destroying and cause problems at home.
It doesn’t have to be this way. The most powerful thing on your side is that you’re not alone and there are tried-and tested methods for banishing such anxiety and turning each working day into an opportunity rather than something to be feared.
I’ve had those feelings, and to combat them, I used the 5 methods below. They worked, and I have a feeling they’ll do the same for you.
1. Speak to Someone
Suffering in silence, no matter the source of your angst, is a bad idea. Reach out to the closest person to you and tell them about your work anxiety. A shoulder to cry on may be all you need to realise that work is but a part of your life.
2. Locate the source of your anxiety
‘Work’ is a bunch of constituent elements. There are the people you work with, customers, the volume of email you deal with on a daily basis and the responsibilities you carry. Chances are, one of these elements will be the source of your anxiety. Suss out which one it is and tackle it head on.
3. Stop Dwelling
Don’t let the idea of ‘going to work’ dominate your every thought. Come Sunday afternoon, banish any thoughts of the following day from your mind and live in the moment. The less you dwell on something, the less of an issue it becomes.
4. Think of Work as a Rite of Passage
Bear with me on this. Unless you’ve won the lottery, you need to go to work in order to feed yourself and keep a roof over your head and, unless you’re lucky enough to make money from a hobby, that means occasionally doing things you may not want to do.
You need to work and it won’t always be a walk in the park, but if you undertake those difficult walks you’ll end up a more rounded, worldly person.
5. Stop Seeking Perfection
There is no such thing as the perfect career. I mentioned making money from your hobby above, but even that can be stressful and angst-ridden. The source of your angst may be the result of a constant search for perfection. If you’re not enjoying your career – look for something else, but if it is 90% right – remind yourself of that fact.
A little bit of trepidation when it comes to work is no bad thing. Just like the nerves a performer experiences before taking to the stage, it is usually a positive sign that you are determined to do your best and that your job challenges you.
If, however, it simply feels like too much to bear, follow the tips above and, in time, you’ll realise that, once you peel back the layers, work isn’t all that bad.