6 Ways to Protect Your Mental Health at Work
Despite changing norms, it’s still complicated navigating mental health needs at work. Here’s how to cope, according to experts.
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4. Learn to Sit with Anxiety
Mordkovich says a common response to an anxiety attack is a desire to escape. “Meetings can be a trigger,” she says. “You get stuck in a room and can’t leave. It may trigger fight-or-flight instincts, but in reality, you’re still safe,” she says. “If you can’t control whether or not you experience anxiety, learn to live with the feeling.” One way to learn to “live with the feeling” is to practice deep breathing and mindfulness and remind yourself that while panic attacks are scary, they are not dangerous.
5. Create a Plan to Manage Your Symptoms
One of Mordkovich’s patients suffered from ADHD and frequently jumped up inappropriately at work. She and the patient devised a way she could work standing up and created a schedule where she could take short breaks, walk around the office, and even change her scenery for a moment or two. The client was able to manage her workload with these new strategies.
6. Ask Your Therapist or Doctor About Medication
When behavioral methods fail to address your mental illness at work, it might be time to discuss the use of medication with your healthcare provider. Your doctor will be able to recommend a regimen that fits your specific needs, but medicines that are effective for some include beta blockers, stimulants, and serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
Managing your mental health, whether at or outside of work, isn’t always easy, but treating yourself gently and with acceptance is essential to your own growth and well-being.
*Names changed to protect the source’s confidentiality.
If you are struggling with thoughts of self harm, please reach out immedately to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255