How do you handle anxiety and working from home?

woman depressed about work

How is working from home affecting you?

Our service manager, Jeremy, wrote this to the service team a couple of weeks ago describing some coping skills that have worked for him since his military days. We thought it relevant to share.

I wanted to talk briefly about anxiety and working from home. I’ve had a few conversations last week with some of the team regarding anxiety and the sense of “the walls closing in.”

This is something I experience personally, and I don’t mind sharing that I suffer from some anxiety stuff and PTSD. It took years and a lot of work to figure myself out and I even ended up with a Masters in Counseling because I wanted to help others with the same issues. The counseling thing didn’t pan out for me, but my desire to help people is still there.

For me personally, the thing I struggle with is the feeling of the world crashing in around me, too much stuff coming from too many directions can trigger this overwhelming feeling and in my case I just shut down. I’ve learned to manage that and know the signs and when I need to take a walk or get some fresh air. It’s not something that came easy for me and it did take quite a bit of therapy and work to understand. I’m not saying that’s what any of us need, but I’m being genuine here in an attempt to share a few tips that may work.

Here are things that I’ve found work for me when working from home:

Pick something and work it through until completed

This can be a small group of tasks or a single task. Push everything aside and just focus on one thing.

The feeling of accomplishment helps manage that sense of being overwhelmed and it’s a step forward. Once you take the first step, the rest of the day seems to open up and not feel so horrible.

Make a list

Create a list of what you want to accomplish today or maybe before lunch and start working through it.

This is another way of taking “baby steps” towards a goal. It helps just knowing you are working through something and it helps get you “out of the mud” so to speak.

Take a break

If you’re like me you and you tend to bury yourself and never break, that’s bad.

Get up, stretch, do some exercise, take a walk and get fresh air. You’ve probably heard that exercise is great for stress relief, it’s true.

Find a sounding board

This can be a friend, a trusted co-worker, a spouse, a manager. Venting is okay and when done respectfully and in a healthy way it does help.

Talking to someone about how you’re feeling or just things that are bothering you is a great way of getting things off of your chest.

I know some people want to “be tough” and I can promise you that bottling stuff up inside doesn’t make you tough. I’ve seen tough, that’s not it.
Talk to someone.

Lean on your team, even when working from home

Lastly, lean on your team and allow them to lean on you. There are days where we are not going to be at 100% and that’s ok.

Teamwork is more than just chipping in to help each other. It’s about being available and stepping up when one of our team members is having a rough day.

If we step up and help (not just working your queue) when needed. Other’s will be there and should be there when we need assistance. That’s a true team.


Jeremy Williams.

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