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Advice to help me manage work related stress / anxiety

(6 Posts)
way2serious Tue 21-Jan-14 23:21:38

I have a highly stressful job with long hours and a lot of responsibility for other people. A variety of situations have led me to feel very anxious over the last few months and I know that I particularly find dealing with conflict tricky and take anything that goes wrong very personally even though I may have no control over it. My anxiety is making me very tearful, unable to focus on tasks, I am not eating well and have lost nearly a stone and a half, I am constantly tired, etc, etc. I am going to see my doctor to see if there are any underlying causes but I genuinely think it is a build up of situations that I have had to deal with and have found myself in.

I have also done a couple of online tests which reinforce my view.

I don't particularly want to take any time off or start medication. I don't think I am bad at my job or feel suicidal. Ideally I would like out although I normally enjoy what I do and am well thought of. I have much of my working life and pension invested in my work and at best have another 8 years to work and at worst probably 15 although I could stay longer if I wanted to.

Sorry for the rambling but I wondered if any of you wise and helpful people could give me some techniques and strategies I could try to help reduce my feelings of anxiety both when I am getting into a panic and in general to lift my mood.

Thank you.

OuterFromOutersville Tue 21-Jan-14 23:31:03

Try the Take10 app - it's a meditation app. I've found that it really helps.

Definitely see your GP, they might suggest CBT, or a low dose of antidepressants.

Good luck smile.

EBearhug Tue 21-Jan-14 23:35:58

There's all the usual stuff about healthy diet, regular exercise*, sensible bed times. It really does help, so if you're not managing it, you need to get some self-discipline. I have started blocking in lunch as a meeting with myself at work, to make sure I actually get a lunch break, and I make sure I physically get away from my desk.

Time management is also important, and I have meetings with myself for other reasons besides, such as if I know I have to do some work by a particular deadline which will take a couple of hours, I actually book time for it.

Is there anything you can do to share out your workload? If you've got people reporting to you, can you help develop any of them by delegating any tasks out - getting one of them to write a regular report you produce; or if you have a weekly meeting, getting each of them in turn to chair it - things like that. It will involve a bit more work to start with, but should help in the longer term.

Also, can you talk to your manager at all? Are there any courses you could take on assertiveness or conflict management or similar? That sort of thing could give you some hints on how to handle difficult situations.

If you're actually getting into a panic at times, try to focus on your breathing, and consciously breathe slowly and deeply. When we panic, we have a tendency to breathe quickly and shallowly, which will start us hyperventilating. Focussing on your breathing gives your mind something to hook onto, instead of running round the inside of your head in a manic way, and it also means you'll start feeling calmer because breathing more slowly is what happens naturally when you're calm, so it will trick your body into thinking you really are calm.

* This post is definitely a case of "do as I say, not as I do"...

way2serious Tue 21-Jan-14 23:41:34

Thank you both for your helpful and prompt responses. I think the message about being kind to myself has been sorely neglected and needs reviewing. I also need to separate my working and private life more clearly. I have lots to think about.

Thank you.

OuterFromOutersville Wed 22-Jan-14 07:12:14

Great post Ebear.

paxtecum Wed 22-Jan-14 07:28:07

I had great help using Holistic Hypnotherapy, which is a sort of meditation technique and works by releasing all your stress at the end of the day.
Again though, you have to invest the time to do it - about 30 minutes most days.

If I have a very stressful day and don't do the HH I can really notice my stomach in a knot the next day.

Best wishes to you.

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