2020 surely changed a lot of our lifestyles, including our working routines and recreational activities. One of the highly reported changes is the increase of anxiety level within the working adults. How did we get here, and where do we go from here?
Work-related anxiety is a thing that should be addressed more often.
We’ve all felt it since the first six months after MCO was being implemented: the self-doubt approaching us like a very adamant hunter. With our meetings and discussions now being only held on Zoom and Google Meet, we feel like we’re losing that sense of comfort of knowing whether we are doing our tasks right. Pre-pandemic, the feedbacks were usually impromptu and fast, so we can fix or confirm things easier, but right now even waiting for a confirmation email can feel like a torture. The accumulation of this uneasy feeling will eventually lead to the development of anxiety within us, and that is bad news.
People with anxiety tend to catastrophise their thoughts. Catastrophising is when you’re only assuming the worst outcomes to every difficulty you’re facing. As you can expect, currently the feeling of anxiety is at its peak even for the people who don’t have the diagnosis, now that we are all inside and isolated from everyone as we are waiting for this pandemic to die down.
“But I thought it was normal!”
According to a recent study on the general population in Malaysia, the rate of anxiety has shot up from 6.33% to a whooping 50.9% just within 2020, following the emergence of COVID-19. You might think that this is nothing; we’re all facing the same hurdles together, which means feeling uneasy almost all the time and dreading the mornings are something normal, right?
While it is true that we need to have some push in order to get to our goals, especially in our jobs, forcing ourselves to push through these anxious feelings to our breaking points just to get our tasks done is not something that should be normalised or kept quiet about.
But before you can take the next step, you will have to come to terms with the fact that you need help.
Once you realise the signs: extreme mood swings, low creativity outputs and motivation, irritability about almost everything regarding your work and the feeling of being overwhelmed and failure to cope with tasks, it will be easier for you to reach out to people who can help you in facing this issue at work.
Now you may proceed to knock on that door to your supervisor’s room (or start that private Zoom call with them).
Talking to your boss
It is crucial for you to be straightforward in explaining your situation to your boss. However, a lot of people are still thinking that there’s a stigma attached to it whenever they’re trying to talk about their mental health at work. The fear of not being taken as seriously as a physical illness is easily one of the common reasons, among others.
First of all, it’s already 2021. If your cry for help on your mental health issues at work is being laughed at, then there’s something fundamentally wrong with the workplace itself.
With that being said, here are some tips on how to talk to your boss about your situation: