Welcome back to the provoke side of the universe. In previous editions, we have discussed my story with anxiety as well as using mindfulness and coping in the office. Today I figured we would turn that topic up on its head.
I wanted to discuss putting a plan in place for those anxiety suffers out there. Not all workplaces are equipped to handle people like you and me. That means we must take matters into our own hands. I, one day, want to expand on this more. This being a blog, I will keep it minimal in detail and try to keep to the point. I’d love to write an entire book on ways we can fight back against anxiety in the workplace.
Now let’s start at the beginning. Let’s first work on formulating the plan.
The hardest part of formulating a plan is the mapping out triggers, incidents and how you stopped anxiety. Now listen, I personally know my strengths and weaknesses. I can tell you what will work for me in my world. Will that work in yours? Very hard to say. We are all different.
So, in recon, investigate what triggers your anxiety at the office. Are there specific incidents that happen repeatedly? Odds are there will be. Write those down in a notebook or in a text file somewhere. I’m a computer guy, so most times it will be in a notepad on my computer when I want to figure stuff out.
Lisa on the other hand is an old school in a book kind of girl. Absolutely nothing wrong with that way! We all must use what works for us. So, if you are a sticky note kind of person. Go NUTS! Next part of recon is to figure out during those times what has worked in the past in calming us.
The whole point of this is to methodically have what we are going to do mapped out. That way when we have an attack or something that makes us go into anxiety mode we are prepared to fight back.
So, the main point of recon is going to be logging triggers, incidents and possible solutions. I do not know about you, but my memory can sometimes not remember the exact details of what I did. What I am suggesting is some form of log or journal. Notepad, text file, or sticky notes. I kid you not. Just write it down for later.
How you organize best is up to you. I just want you to create a collection of these items. Then we move onto the next step. I know I can be scattered and the best way I can deal with that is notes and scheduling. That is the key to the entire steps to develop a scheduling mechanism that helps you.
We have all this information we figured out in recon. Now what to do with it. The main reason to document this stuff was I want you to be able to see what has happened; when, where, why and how you dealt with it.
Nothing to make your life more difficult. We need to figure out what triggers overlap and organize this information. Your thinking this seems like a lot of work. Your right, it totally is.
Dealing with anxiety is a lot of work. It’s exhausting. Are you tired of feeling exhausted dealing with this crap over and over? I know I am. So, the best thing to fight back against anxiety is with knowledge and experience. What worked for you in the past? See where I am going with this? You put in the time and effort and odds are you will see the results.
Does it work over night? Nope.
START SMALL. Don’t try to turn your life upside down in one day.
Figure out a morning routine or maybe getting yourself setup in the office. For me, it was always important to get into the environment early. I needed time to adjust and prepare for the day ahead. Personally, I found this helped to cut down on the number of anxiety attacks I was having each day.
Looking back at your data, say you found that morning meetings at 9 am were always extremely stressful for you. Now you must ask yourself what would improve this? If you had more prep time in the morning would that help? Going to the office and getting settled a little earlier - would that help?
Here is where things might deviate for you. I, personally, was able to head into the office early. You might not. You might be a single mom, of two kids, that need to get off to daycare. My boys are teenagers now, so I don’t have to worry about that. You just need to figure out what works best for you.
Would prepping in the car on the way to work help? You don’t have a car and take the train into the city? It doesn’t matter where you do your prep time just that you do somewhere. My preparation always involved an over-ear headset and some loud music.
Point is that you use this as time for yourself and calm yourself down. We know the anxiety is coming. We know it waits at that office. You just need to be able to get yourself to realize that you can’t control that. You can control how you react to it though. Therefore, I plan some preparation time into my day. I am setting myself up for success and not failure.
This is where I will stop. The worst thing you can do is flood yourself or change too much at once. Start at the beginning and figure out a way to start your morning. Recon your day and get it all set up on the right foot. I could keep writing and writing just on this beginning part but that would make this blog a novel. Not sure I am ready for that yet. Maybe one day I will be.
Take care of yourselves and remember to take deep breathes. Till Next time