Having lived with anxiety to varying degrees, Jo Godley shares her top tips for managing it, in the hope that it might spark further conversations in the workplace
Many health professionals experience work-related anxiety, many of us live with ‘imposter’ feelings and battle with self-doubt on a daily basis.
We tend to be ‘givers’, donating our time and energy to others and we feel guilty when we think we have failed.
Let’s say this out loud – ‘it is impossible to get every single person better’. Sounds logical – Rafael Nadal can’t win every tennis match. Still, harbouring this as a true belief is at times very hard to do, since we tend to be overly critical of ourselves.
From personal experience, I wanted to share some of my top tips for those of you experiencing anxiety, and for managers supporting the staff in their teams.
I want to encourage conversations about anxiety, and create environments that are more open about these struggles.
- For further information, see my blog: mehab
Top tips for you
- If needed, use your GP to get signed off, to give you ‘permission’ to stop and take care of yourself, and check for any underlying medical causes.
- Consider vitamin supplements and diet changes to aid general health.
- Practice relaxation in some form – yoga/meditation/mindfulness – whatever works for you.
- Exercise – walking is great. It uses both sides of the brain, which is calming.
- Disconnect from social media or the news for a while, and learn to say no.
- Maintain good sleep habits.
- Accept your anxiety as part of you. Name it out loud and relinquish the fight to conquer it.
- Try not to compare yourself to others.
- Seek help from professionals – counsellors, coaches - keep trying until you find someone who ‘clicks’ with you.
Top tips for managers
- Listen to people’s fears and anxieties and validate them. Even if you can’t understand them.
- Signpost to professional services, these may include counselling and anxiety management groups, but understand that sometimes people just need to feel like you have their back.
- Encourage open discussions at staff meetings about mistakes, create an environment where it is okay to make mistakes, to learn from them in a ‘safe’ environment.
- Ask staff for their feelings using surveys, get your health and safety reps involved, act on the results – offer feedback.
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