How to avoid anxiety (most of the time) at work

Considering we spend so much of our lives working, I don’t think you can be too picky. Take it from someone who has had 12 different jobs at the age of 21… that’s also including a long period unemployed during the lowest points of my mental health. Although it wasn’t ideal for the bank, by having that break I had time to reflect and recover from having such bad experiences of anxiety and panic, mainly caused by the work environment and people I worked with.
Its difficult working with new and strange people. Especially having to have that painful chit-chat, while they pretend to be interested in you, when all they’re really doing is trying to suss you out. You smile and try to be friendly back, when all you really want to do is tell them how mentally unstable you are in the hope they’ll leave you the hell alone. Building relationships are hard in a work place when you’re barely holding on to relationships in your personal life. I dealt with these situations in the best way I felt I could, by avoiding everyone and completely isolating myself (they must have thought I was such a bitch). I hated work, when I turned up that is.
When I started my new career however, a job completely different to any I’d had before, I was over the moon to escape an office environment. Of course, like any workplace, it still had its gossipers, complainers, drama queens and just plain irritating people. I started to come up with a ways to avoid all of this, which may or may not be of use to someone else;

  1. Avoid getting involved in workplace gossip, sure you can listen, but don’t say anything you wouldn’t say to the persons face (it will come back to get you)
  2. Don’t be that person who moans about anything and everyone, no one wants to hear it.
  3. Not everyone at work are your friends. You may be close colleagues but be careful not to trust them just because you’ve been on a few nights out and declared your drunken love for each other.
  4. If you have already been betrayed by a colleague, you’ve learnt the hard way and you’ll know for next time. Try to turn this into a positive life lesson (it’s happened to me)
  5. Be assertive but not aggressive. It’s finding that balance between not taking any shit, and avoiding conflict. Both will work in your favour.
  6. Always share important info/agreements over emails as well as in person. It avoids hearsay, also a lesson I’ve learnt through working with liars…
  7. Be mindful that you will still have some really bad days when you can’t face going into work, that’s absolutely fine, take a mental health day off.
  8. Remember work is important, but it’s not as important as health and happiness, so don’t jeopardise this when, to a business, you are replaceable. You are not replaceable to your loved ones.

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