How I Deal With Stress and Anxiety

With Mental Health being a buzz word lately, I thought I would share some of my tips that keep me going. The reality is, everyone deals with stress and anxiety in their own way. I am not an expert nor do I believe these tips will take away the issue.

I am the type of person who does not share my emotions openly to many people and my career and personal life have changes quite a bit over the last 5 years, I was in denial about my own anxiety… you probably wondering what I mean. Well, waking up in the early hours of the night thinking about things in life and not going back to sleep or waking up in a sweat because I was worried…

Stress and anxiety is not something that just happens in the work place, it is ever present in your personal relationships too.

I am the type of person that who panics about the unknown, I usually overthink things and worry that I am not capable or good enough – I usually laugh it off afterwards but in the moment I panic. Just remember this is normal and you are normal. Its how you deal with it that matters because it is not fair that you take it out on the people around you.

Like I said, here are a few things I do to keep myself on the right track:

Just do your best No one is perfect and some people just cannot be pleased. I am always keen to learn but always want to look at things with a different approach.

Maintain a positive attitude – This is easier said than done and I easily adopt a negative attitude – but I have coached myself to not allow my personal feeling to overpower the bigger goal. Try and assess what triggers your stress and anxiety so that you are able to avoid allowing yourself to get into this rut – I tend to default to verbal aggression – not my favourite thing to admit but such is life.

Talk to someone – It does not have to be a psychiatrist, you could talk to a loved one, family member or even a coach or mentor. Many of my friends have a similar work ethic so I often chat to them to make sure I am not overreacting. Also sometimes I don’t see that I am on the wrong path. You need to be able to accept positive and negative criticism. I have learn’t to do so, because I would rather change my attitude than just let it be.

You cannot control everything – This is something you need to learn to understand. Also, something you should be able to share with your manager in order for them to support you – same with a partner. Think things in perspective, is it really as bad as you think? Communication is really important.

Get enough sleep – If you had asked me this about a year ago, I would have laughed at you, I was a complete night owl. I have since changed my sleeping pattern. I also try and read before bed each night which really helps me unwind and fall asleep quicker. I am in bed by 9PM and try and minimise tv time because i can get hooked on good shows,.

Relax – This could mean many things, going to watch a movie, hitting the gym or a Yoga class, playing golf, getting your hair done etc, whatever your poison just take time for yourself – I often go to a mall and walk around. It relaxes me and its “me time”. Sometimes this time alone helps you think and clears your mind. You tend to have a different perspective after.

If you feel you need additional help because there is no one you can turn to, nothing wrong with that, here are some additional details:

The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) on 011 234 4837 or 0800 20 50 26 and speak to a trained counselor who can assist you further. Office hours: 7 days a week from 8am – 8pm.

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