As more and more of us return – or continue to – work from home it seems we’re finding it harder than ever to switch off. So much so, that our work life is now infiltrating our dreams too, and it’s having some less than desirable effects. In a recent study conducted by the poster printing company instantprint, they found that 75% of us have reported experiencing workplace nightmares, with 17% of workers dreaming about being unprepared for a task.
If you’re finding you have more anxiety surrounding your work, you’re not alone. And as Dr Sarah Jane Daly, a senior lecturer in social psychology from The University of Huddersfield explains,
“For many of us, Covid-19 has brought work into our personal spaces. We think of home as a place where we can relax and shut out work-day stresses and strains. The fact that many people work from home now, means that our homes have become literal places of work. Kitchen tables, coffee tables, beds, sofas – all places that were once stress-free are now sites of work-production. Getting away from work has never been so difficult.”
But don’t despair, here are some easy and practical ways you can reduce workplace anxiety and feel more prepared for tasks.
Plan and prepare
As tempting as may be to leave things to the last minute, getting started on major projects as early as possible will help relieve anxiety levels. If you struggle to stay on track, set mini-deadlines for yourself, and break down big projects into smaller bitesize chunks.
Often anxiety is caused because we feel unprepared, so taking the time to familiarise yourself with your work, project, or client can help waylay these fears.
As much as you might want to stretch yourself, if you overexert yourself and commit to too many projects, not only will you feel stressed, but you won’t be able to give your full attention to each project. Being able to realistically manage your time and say ‘no’ when extra work is offered will instantly help you feel less anxious – and in turn, you’ll be more productive.
Working from home has its own setbacks – namely being closer to the biscuit tin! But overindulging in sweet treats, not getting enough fresh air, and poor sleep patterns will increase stress hormones in your body. Instead of overhauling your lifestyle (and setting unrealistic goals) look at ways you can be healthier every day, whether that’s preparing a nutritious lunch, going for an afternoon stroll, or switching off your electronic devices in the evening.
Talk to someone
While the majority of us may be working from home, that doesn’t mean we’re working alone. If you’re feeling anxious about work or just life in general, speak to someone, whether that’s a manager, a colleague, or even a friend. Now more than ever we need to communicate with those around us – and just talking about your problems will make you feel instantly better.