How I Helped My Colleague Recover
From Work Anxiety
Anxiety is an uneasy feeling, such as fear, nervousness, or worry. It varies from person to person. Some people might be mildly anxious about some situations, and some might get a severe anxiety attack in the same situation. But be it mild or severe, it is a serious matter.
Anxiety is a natural response of our body to stress. Anxiety has many symptoms like rapid heart rate, sweating, alertness, tiredness, trembling, troubled sleeping, hyperventilation, etc.
People with anxiety disorder get panic attacks quickly and repeatedly, which is difficult to control, and severely affects daily life and mental health. Anxiety, either mild or severe, it needs medical assistance so it can be completely treated.
Everyone feels anxious at some point in their life. Be it an exam, job interview, giving a speech, etc. Feeling anxious in these situations is completely normal. But when these feelings are hard to control and are more constant, then not getting help can lead to disaster.
It is very important to understand the roots of anxiety and eliminate those factors to stay away from its harmful effects.
A similar situation was with my friend and colleague, Jessica. This story is all about I supported her and helped her recover.
How I helped my colleague
When I heard Jessica crying in the toilet, all her complaints, whines, mood swings came to me like a flashback.
Jessica has been complaining to me about her anxiety ever since she started working in our firm. Being best friends, I always listened to her and put her back to her work mode. But she kept on complaining and showing work-related shortcomings.
But seeing her in such a bad shape on the other day was too much for me, and I decided to help her gain her confidence and beat her anxiety disorder. She is such a nice person and deserves all the happiness along with a stress-free life.
We sat down to try and find the roots of her anxiety. The discussion made this very clear that deadlines and dealing with certain people are her biggest problems. She was destroying herself with excessive use of alcohol over the weekends.
This was considered as a “getaway”. Her health was deteriorating day-by-day, which also made her miss work. She entered a cycle of bad happenings, and there was no coming out of it without some help.
She needed a vacation. I persuade her to take a few days off and go somewhere to unwind. Holidays rejuvenate us and make us work-ready on our return.
In the meantime, I did my research and identified some discussion groups and workshops regarding workplace anxiety and registered both of us. I tried to figure out how I can be of any help to her and came up with a few ideas that might help my colleague.
On her return, I was prepared to take her on a journey towards mental wellness.
I advised her to practice time management. As a starter, we made a to-do list, and I helped her prioritize her work. She had to plan enough time to complete each project.
I then gave her mini-deadlines for her major projects. She had to brainstorm to anticipate any problems she might face and be ready to prevent them.
We went on work anxiety-related seminars and discussions together. They helped her learn about her anxiety symptoms and how to control them. Luckily she had mild anxiety, and a change of lifestyle helped her cope with it.
I told her that she has to be realistic about her available time and over-committing tasks. If she has extra time, she must spend planning and seamlessly executing the project she is working on. Try to do it correctly the first time and save herself from redoing it.
Anxiety took out the good from her and left her with mismanagement, a cluttered desk, unfiled papers, work backlog, etc. She has to stay organized to save time and prevent a crisis later.
She has to be as communicative as possible. But has to use neutral language, no red flags her way.
She has not taken any work home since we started working on her anxiety. This has helped her relax at home and be ready for a new day.
All this was possible only if she stayed healthy. We planned a timetable with healthy and timely eating, ample sleep, regular exercise, and limiting caffeine and alcohol. We together registered at a gym. All these efforts helped us keep our minds and body in shape, preparing us to handle challenges.
In a week, I started seeing a new life in her. She came to work happy and left satisfied. A healthy lifestyle worked wonders for her. She started doing better at her projects. Her communication improved, and she began to control her symptoms, thanks to the workshops and discussion groups she attended.
It’s been quite sometime now. Jessica is certainly a better person. She looks after herself, and any factor that may trigger anxiety is tackled very well.
She turned into a very positive person. Very non-judgmental, patient, well managed. There are times when she feels low, but now she has a whole new perspective of seeing things and controlling her emotions.
She is the best example of rising from ashes and taking a flight of success.
While summing up all the way
Anxiety can not only be treated with psychotherapy and medication. Talking to someone trustworthy and understanding can also help. If you come across someone who seems anxious and needs help, be helpful. Pursue them to seek help. Anxiety is part of life. And it doesn’t completely go away, but getting help can teach you to manage your anxiety and live a happy and healthy life.
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