Social Anxiety Disorder in the Workplace and how to deal with it.
Experiencing anxiety can have a big impact on your everyday life, and in work it can be a major hindrance to your career. I have personally seen people decline promotion, not based on their ability but their at their social anxiety in the workplace and how it simply stopped them. Anxiety in the workplace is a vicious circle and something that can massively effect overall life.
I have seen people avoid different roles because they would have to meet new people or travel to new places rather than their confidence to do the job at hand. And that is just not fair for the individuals involved.
With a recent survey showing that around 1/3 of UK professionals suffering from anxiety or depression, that is a lot of people (and businesses!) missing out on the opportunity for progression and growth.
Tips on how to manage social anxiety disorder in the workplace
Take holidays and time off
Appreciate that work is only PART of your life and not your reason for living. Make work part of your life and fill the other parts, appreciated the time outside of work. It can be very easy to let work consume your very existence and be your main focus for living. If you feel that this is happening, take a step back and appreciate life.
Set firm work/life balance
Of course, work is important in anyone’s life for various reasons – income, identity, motivation to name but a few. But, there has to be clear boundaries set – work is work and home is home. Try to avoid checking work phones or emails whilst at home. Of course, depending on your role and work, there may be times when this is unavoidable – but even to acknowledge the balance is a step in the right direction.
Recognise your own anxiety and your symptoms
Being aware of what anxiety is to YOU is paramount regardless of where you are. Identifying your ‘key signatures’ or what behaviour you display before you experience full-blown anxiety is a great way to help you with overall managing social anxiety in the workplace. Maybe it is a feeling in your gut, or lowering of your overall mood, or maybe physical presentation such as shaking or jittering.
Identifying your anxieties is the only way you can take handle of it before you are on an upward battle to controlling it.
Look after yourself
Eat healthily, exercise regularly, sleep well and generally just look after yourself! Social Anxiety Disorder is difficult at the best of times, at least give yourself a chance to fight on level-pegging.
Eat breakfast and a healthy one. It is amazing how an approach to a situation changes if you are feeling that bit more rested and well. Drink less alcohol, limit caffeine and sugar intake, try it – it works!!
Feelingn Social Anxiety? Avoid negative colleagues
People are people – and many are just plain negative! Negativity is around because let’s face it, people like to have a good whine. Often whining or getting things off your chest can be a good thing, but if you suffer anxiety and are conscious of this then avoiding negativity can be really helpful.
I am not suggesting just ignoring people, that in itself might prove anxiety-provoking! But, having awareness of negativity (even if you agree with the gripe) and simply removing yourself from that situation can have a positive impact on your overall mental health. Sometimes these gripes are needed, but more than often not.
If I am ever feeling symptoms of anxiety coming on, then I know that adding negativity to it is never a good thing.
Politely walk away!