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Work Anxiety :(

Hi everyone. Over the past 4 weeks I've only been to three, 4 hour work shifts. I haven't been able to get myself to go to work. I start to feel sick in the tummy and get a headache or feel really tired and get this overwhelming sense of dread. Sometimes it's so bad I can't concentrate on what I'm doing. I get really restless and can't breathe normally. 


It's getting me really down Smiley Sad I'm not sleeping properly either even though I have started going to bed early. I keep waking up during the night about 3 times before morning and I always feel really tired and sometimes sick when I wake up. 


I'm worried because my bank account is slowly plummeting and soon I won't be able to pay rent or anything. 


I wish I could work normal Smiley Sad why does this keep happening to me? I want to go to work and then the day before a rostered shift or the morning of I start to feel so anxious and sick and then I end up calling in sick Smiley Sad 


I feel like a failure because I can't even work to afford looking after myself Smiley Sad 

Re: Work Anxiety :(

Hii @mspaceK , I'm sorry that you've been going through a tough time these past few weeks. Anxiety can get the best of us at times, and it really just sucks when it constantly affects our daily lives. However, you're at least trying to seek help about it so that's really brave and strong of you!Smiley Very Happy And you're not a failure because at least you're trying to changes things for yourself. Heart


It does sound like your work anxiety is serious though as it's persisted for quite some time. Is the anxiety you experience because of something specific that stresses you at your workplace? And have you sought out any professional help or advice?

Re: Work Anxiety :(

@drpenguin I feel like I'm not good enough for my job and also get super nervous about going. I feel like I do the wrong thing and get super stressed about little things. I feel like I don't do my job right and I have to do a good job. I get worried about things going wrong and it replays over in my mind and I keep thinking I should have done better. It's so bad i can't even get myself to go now, like I've failed before I even get there. I feel like there is something wrong with me. I feel so sick about working and knowing I have to go again. I even considered applying for a new job but the job application process and prospect of interviews only makes the anxiety worse. Smiley Sad 

Re: Work Anxiety :(

Hey @mspaceK 


From what you've described the work anxiety you're going through sounds really exhausting. It's so hard when the mind replays what could go wrong over and over. I remember feeling much the same as you when I first entered the workforce. It isn't the easiest time - you're learning new things, meeting new people, forming a new part of your identity as a "professional". Not to mention the fact that in our modern world, having an income is tied to how we survive. That's a lot of pressure as it is. I can see why this has been causing you so much stress. 


I want to assure you that there's nothing wrong with you for finding this to be a challenge. If you can, give yourself permission to be in the learning stages. There is no shame in making mistakes and learning from them - in fact it's a completely necessary part of mastering any skill set. What makes a world of difference is having the support from your employer. I'm just wondering if your workplace has any employee assistance programs? Heart 



Re: Work Anxiety :(

Hii @mspaceK , your thoughts and worries replaying over in your mind definitely sounds frustrating and difficult. We all experience these thoughts from time to time, so it's a normal feeling to have, and there's nothing wrong with you. When I'm worried or anxious about how something will turn out, I try to prepare myself as much as possible to make myself less stressed and avoid a bad outcome. Like for example, when I'm anxious about doing a presentation, I make sure I memorise everything I have to say beforehand so that I can avoid messing up when I actually present. I'm not sure if this example applies to your situation, but I hope that I can help you. Smiley Happy 


And like Bre-RO said, there definitely is nothing wrong with making mistakes and learning from them at work. Everyone makes mistakes and have been where you are, so I'm sure they'll understand and help you if you do the wrong thing from time to time. Support from your colleagues as well can go a long way in encouraging you to learn and improve at work too. Do you have any workplace colleagues that you know well and could help you?

Re: Work Anxiety :(

It's great to hear from you again @mspaceK. Heart

It can be so hard mustering up the courage to go about our day. Smiley Sad I often have the same issues when I do my volunteering. I also struggle to get enough sleep beforehand.

I agree with @drpenguin. Just trying out some changes is a huge achievement! I think it can be very difficult to settle back into a routine after going through a tough time.

Something that has helped me is going with someone. Are you able to carpool with a colleague or have someone with you for support until you get there?
I often feel better after I've actually done my volunteering and can make my own way back. Sometimes, I do something fun afterwards, such as shopping or going for a walk.

Another thing that has helped me is practicing good sleep hygiene. I can be a light sleeper and get easily awoken by noise, temperature changes, etc. When I don't get enough sleep, my mood gets worse.
Here are some tips for getting a good night's sleep.
Some people also find it helpful to sleep according to 'cycles'. You can find calculators for this online, such as this one.

Re: Work Anxiety :(

I'm not sure about an employee assistants program @Bre-RO but I do know that there are some training courses on professional development in this industry that I can try and attend. 


@drpenguin I don't have any employees to go to work with as my job requires me to go to different schools regularly and so I'm often working with new people unless I am placed at the same school. Even then I don't know anyone well enough to go together. 


@WheresMySquishy good to hear from you too. I'm trying to get my bag and things organised the night before but in terms of the actual work for the day, I never know what I am teaching until I arrive on the day because I'm a substitute. It's go go go once I arrive. 


I'm really trying to get a good nights sleep so I think over the next week that's going to be my main focus. 

Re: Work Anxiety :(

@mspaceK  The training courses sound like a good idea! I've done a few that are relevant to my field myself. Smiley Happy

I had another idea. If you're not able to go with a colleague, do you think it would be helpful or unhelpful to use a ride sharing app or taxi service? I'm not sure whether it might motivate you to have something like that booked in advance or whether it might make things worse.

I think getting a good night's sleep might help a lot. Smiley Happy

Re: Work Anxiety :(

Hey @mspaceK , I see, it sucks that you can't have regular colleagues as a substitute teacher since you're always going to different schools. I can see why working makes you so anxious since you're always in a new environment and constantly having to teach a new batch of students every time, which means you don't really have a regular work schedule that you're comfortable with. But you've managed yourself well so far and that's really great of you! Smiley Very Happy Have you considered applying for a part-time teaching job that is more regular than your current job? Maybe the irregularity in being a substitute teacher isn't the best for your work anxiety.


Hope you're doing better these few days! Heart

Re: Work Anxiety :(

@WheresMySquishy I wouldn't want to do the taxi ride share thing mainly because of money but it's a good idea. 


@drpenguin I have considered trying to get a part time teaching job and I've been freaking out about the whole application process, interviews and writing key selection criteria. I really need to get some people to help me write all that. I think ultimately being part time at a school would be better for me. It's the process of getting there that I am struggling with. As a substitute teacher even though I'm mostly teaching different students and sometimes new schools, I have been lucky enough to be placed at one school. But when they don't need a substitute that morning I get a phone call from my agency to work at a different school in a different role and that's when I start freaking out more and turning down shifts. So I know being at one school would help alot.