Dealing with anxiety

Botanical Gardens

So, if you read my previous article on anxiety and depression, you may feel like I treated anxiety too lightly. OK, let’s go into more depth.

Too much shit on your plate often causes anxiety. So let’s focus on clearing your plate.

How do I know this? I’m an empath. I’ve also had some wonderful employees who suffer panic attacks. Unfortunately, most managers don’t know how to manage people with anxiety. So, if you’re a manager, read this article five times until it sinks into your head.

The feeling of being overwhelmed triggers a panic attack. Let’s say your boss gives you some pretty hard work. Then, her boss comes by and says you also need to do this. Then, you have a family member who calls and has a frantic problem. You look up at the clock and you’re behind schedule and about to get in trouble. Here comes the panic attack.

Dealing with anxiety – first off, prioritize

Tell your family member that you have to hang up as your boss needs this work done yesterday. Hang up the phone.

Get up and go to the bathroom. You need to clear your head. Control your breathing.

Get back to your desk and write down the things you have to do. Prioritize them in order of importance. Start on task #1 because that’s the most important. When it’s finished, cross it off your list and get to task #2.

If you get in trouble for not getting everything completed, defend yourself. You knocked off this, this, and this, and ran out of time. Actually, that’s a pretty good defense. If your boss is decent, she’ll see you did do a lot of work. If she’s got any empathy, she’ll ease your plate a little.

Now if she gets really mad at you, then you have a shitty boss and you need to start looking for a different job. I’m assuming you work hard because ironically, some of my best employees had the worst anxiety. I just had to prioritize tasks for them to avoid them getting panic attacks and doing nothing.

A sad story

One guy I hired, I’ll call him Chip, was one smart motherfucker. He had really bad anxiety though and smoked marijuana on a daily basis to deal with it. Don’t judge yet. Just keep reading.

I was well aware of his problems. He had problems focusing because he had ADHD.

I was aware of this too. So, in the beginning of the day, I setup a work plan for Chip. “Do this first, then this, then do this, and if you have time, do this and this. If you don’t have time, don’t worry about it. Those last two can be done tomorrow, but I need you to do the first three in that order.”

Guess what? Chip kicked ass! With a detailed plan in front of him, he knocked them off one by one and if he had time, he knocked off the other ones. If not, he didn’t fret because I told him not to worry about it. If you have anxiety, you know how powerful the words “don’t worry about it” are from your boss.

Well, I had to move cities. I stayed within the same company, but Chip ended up working for someone else. He was fired within six months because his new boss didn’t know what to do with him.

Chip’s new boss complained that Chip did nothing and sat around all day. I got pissed. I really liked Chip as a person, and had his back when he was under me. Needless to say, Chip was an excellent employee when I was his boss. His new boss should have asked me what I did to get so much work out of him instead of firing him.

Dealing with anxiety – you need to manage yourself

Chances are, you’re not going to get a boss as good as me. You’ll more than likely get someone who doesn’t know how to deal with someone with anxiety.

So that said, you need to manage yourself. You need to prioritize your work and knock them off in order of importance. What we’re doing is getting you to be productive as you can to avoid triggering a panic attack.

Now that you’re productive, notice how you feel. You’re more proud of yourself. You’re accomplishing a lot more at work and people are noticing.

You can live with anxiety and be very productive. You just need to manage it.

The good thing about Chip is he has a very supportive wife. It took him almost a year to find another job because he doesn’t interview very well. I was his reference and said glowing things about him, but had a talk with his new boss and said that he works best with task lists. If he has task lists, he kicks ass.

Luckily, his new boss got it and last I heard, he was still there. I lost touch with him, but between him and his wife, they’re making enough money that they’re doing OK.

One last thing about dealing with anxiety – take vacations. A temporary change of scenery can recharge your batteries.


Roman is an artist, composer, writer, and travel junkie, and he can still throw a football

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