First, you have to recognize the signs

  1. Feeling tired all the time
  2. Dreading Mondays and/or particular meetings or work items
  3. Decrease in productivity
  4. Panic whenever people approach you with certain asks or tasks
  5. General change in mood, appetite or outlook at work
  6. Feeling overwhelmed and like there’s just too much to do

What to do

  1. Take a mental health day or week by working from home for a few days to take a breather
  2. Speak to your manager; ask to take 1-2 things off of your plate. Also discuss any timelines you feel may be unrealistic for you or the team to achieve.
  3. Take time off; go on PTO. Sometimes, you just need to recharge.
  4. Speak to friends, family or a therapist about what you’re experiencing. Sometimes they help uncover patterns in your thinking that’s causing you unnecessary suffering.
    • ie. “I have to complete all these things before we can launch.”
    • Do you really? Is there nothing you could cut off to lighten the load? How do you know they’re all 100% necessary?
  5. Start setting boundaries for yourself outside of work for unsustainable behaviors that may have carried over from your last crunch period ie. I will not work after 6pm.
  6. Allow for some self-care. Go to an impromptu spin class, massage therapy session or a dessert bar.
  7. Spend more time doing things you enjoy or have been wanting to do.
  8. Be okay and clear about what you’re intentionally not going to do. That way, you don’t need to feel overwhelmed, and you have clarity with yourself and your manager/team on what you will be doing each week.
  9. Laugh at something. Watch a comedy special, go to the theater, spend some time with you favorite animals. Sometimes you just need to snap out of the pattern of anxiety and remind yourself that you can be at ease.

What do you do to stay happy and zen at work? Share in the comments below!