May is Mental Health Month, and this week specifically is Mental Health Awareness Week. I love how people have been sharing their stories, the support people have shown and the attention that’s going to mental health, and wish it could be like this all the time. We all need to be talking more about our mental health, we have to listen to what people with a mental illness have to say, amplify their voices and raise awareness every single week. Why, you ask?
The summer before starting elementary school, after a period of struggling with allergies and having difficulties breathing, I was diagnosed with asthma. But around the same time, something else started to develop. The older I got, the more insecure and anxious I became, until I started looking for help in my early twenties.
When I opened Twitter earlier this week and saw a Tumblr screenshot of how to help someone with a panic attack going around and being criticized, I wasn’t really surprised. The image mentions that, when you see someone have a panic attack, you should grab the person and give them a tight hug, whether they want it or not, and rock them back and forth. It’s a pretty great example of how not to help someone during a panic attack, and how to make matters worse.
Even though I’ve experienced quite a bit of anxiety, I’ve generally been pretty good at keeping it out of my work-life or at least preventing it from becoming too prominent at work. And I’ve been working hard to develop methods that help me keep my anxiety under control at work, partly because I’m too concerned about what would happen to my career if I allowed my anxiety to show up at work, partly because I’m really passionate about what I do and don’t want my anxiety ruining the fun, and partly because I’m really motivated to do something great with my career. So here are, at least from my experience, 10 great methods to avoid anxiety from taking over at work.
As long as I can remember, I dreamt of achieving big things. As a kid, I wanted to become a race pilot and beat all records, or the first astronaut to visit different planets. One Christmas, I got a telescope and I spent my nights looking at the moon and stars, knowing the names of all the visible constellations. Another year, I received a microscope and spent all winter examining whatever I could find. I even let food rot, just because I wanted to examine the fungus.