Are you experiencing anxiety in your professional life? If so, you’re far from being alone. For indeed, stress at work is common for many people. Now anxiety can rear it’s troublesome head at various times and places, but I want to focus on today when you are feeling overwhelmed at work. And more specifically, how to proactively overcome those feelings.
If you think about it, we take many simple proactive measures all the time. Actions such as putting gas in our vehicles or making sure there is food in our house. Why? Because we know it’s easier to pull into a gas station and fuel up than to run out of gas on the side of the road and have to walk, who knows how far to the nearest gas station. And even a magician couldn’t make a wholesome meal out of an almost empty jar of peanut butter and an outdated bag of wilted lettuce.
So, should taking proactive steps before feeling overwhelmed at work be any less important? I say NO. So, let’s look at a few ways to act on now so you can prevent yourself from having to respond to overwhelm after it happens.
6 Ways to proactively overcome feeling overwhelmed at work
1. Don’t stuff your feelings down
Anxiety is a normal stress response. So when it shows up, accept it and don’t try to ignore it. It is only trying to bring your attention to something that needs addressing. So instead, try to figure out what your body is trying to tell you.
2. Know your triggers
You’ve already experienced the feelings of being overwhelmed at work. Now, can you pinpoint what caused it? This is important because you can proactively create the strategies needed to overcome overwhelm when you understand your triggers.
And then by knowing you have the proper coping mechanisms in place when you need them the most will bring a sense of calm when overwhelm wants to overtake you.
3. Guard your time
It’s okay to say no sometimes.
You don’t have to say yes to every project and opportunity that comes your way. For indeed when you parcel out your time to too many projects, clients, or work opportunities, something or someone will not receive the attention it/they deserve. Not to mention you will wear yourself out in the meantime because you’re working 70-80 hours a week.
Don’t let an inability to exercise more control over your priorities rob you of being able to do your best work, have significant personal and family time, and, most of all, your sanity.
4. Set realistic goals
Of course, you need goals if you want to succeed.
But, while too easy goals can leave you dissatisfied, setting goals that you have no hope of achieving will only leave you overwhelmed and discouraged.
So go ahead and make goals—but make sure they are possible to achieve.
5. Use time management skills
Many people identify with the feeling of overwhelm that comes with the struggle to get everything done in the time they have.
And you’ve probably seen people who always seem busy, yet they rarely complete their tasks on time. While others, though they have the same amount of time, seem to manage to get everything done on time. Why is that?
Well, they have probably learned the power of time management skills. So let me ask you this question.
When you have a lot on your plate at work, are you tempted to tackle it by telling yourself you just have to work harder? Does that always work? Because you see, time management isn’t about working harder—it’s about working smarter.
For good time management means you can achieve more in a shorter amount of time. And at the same time also enable you to handle stress and pressure better because you feel more in control.
6. Take mental health breaks
Taking breaks is crucial to clearing your mind and regaining your focus. Sometimes all it takes is a ten-minute walk. And if you can make it outside, all the better.
Or maybe it would be more beneficial to you to actually take a whole day off for stress relief and burnout prevention.
Either way, taking these kinds of breaks is a great way to pause, regroup and come back to work with a greater level of energy and a fresh, less-stressed perspective.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” — Ben Franklin.
The word proactively means to take action to control a situation rather than just responding to it after it has happened. And with these six ways I’ve shared with you above that you can act on now, you will be on your way to preventing feeling overwhelmed at work. However, if you feel an excessive amount of overwhelm and would like some extra assistance, working with an anxiety coach through breakthrough coaching is another great way to learn more strategies to manage stress and get back on track.
Hi, I’m Kris Henderson, LPC. I want you to know that I am here to help. The easiest way to start taking control of your anxiety is to take the FREE 5-Day Anxiety Detox Challenge. However, if you want more personalized support, I invite you to contact me or make an appointment online. Together, we can work on more strategies to reduce stress, putting you in control of not feeling overwhelmed at work.
This article originally appeared on Kris Henderson Coaching