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Laura Nelson - Easing the Anxious Mind: Dealing with Anxiety in the Workplace - WordCamp Europe 2018


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40% of disability worldwide is due to depression & anxiety. However, there’s still so much stigma surrounding the issue, that it rarely gets discussed. This has resulted in people with anxiety feeling like they have to suffer in silence, and employers not fully understanding the condition. Laura will share her personal experience of dealing with an anxiety disorder and how it impacted her working life. By openly discussing this issue, she hopes to diffuse some common misunderstandings of the condition, give practical advice on how anxiety sufferers can help themselves and what workplaces can do to support this, and give people the confidence to communicate mental health issues.

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Laura Nelson - Easing the Anxious Mind: Dealing with Anxiety in the Workplace - WordCamp Europe 2018

  1. 1. Easing the anxious mind: Dealing with anxiety in 
 the workplace Laura Nelson - Marketing Manager, cat stalker & very anxious person @Laura_Nelson_
  2. 2. Marketing Manager at Pragmatic @pragmaticweb WordCamp Brighton 2018 lead organiser
  3. 3. What is anxiety? @Laura_Nelson_
  4. 4. “You know when you’re leaning back on a chair and you lean a little too far back, and you anticipate going down and you’re scared? Yeah, that. But you never actually go down.” @Laura_Nelson_
  5. 5. Numbness and tingling / dizziness / chest pain / headaches / neck tension / stomach upset / pulsing in the ear / burning skin / fear of impending doom / nausea / shortness of breath / dry mouth / shooting pains in the face / heart palpitations / weakness in legs / feeling like you are going crazy / inability to rest / sleep problems / racing heart / intense feeling of doom and gloom / light headedness / sweating / trembling / feeling like you are about to lose control / feeling overwhelmed / sudden and strong urge to escape / heightened fear and apprehension / increased stimulations / pins and needles / throat tightness / muscle weakness / super sensitive senses and nerves / persistent worry / panic attacks / body aches / body shakes / increase or decrease in temperature / itchy skin / chronic fatigue & exhaustion / clumsiness / cold chills / craving sugar / difficulty speaking / falling dropping sensation / feeling faint / hyperactivity / ushed face / frequent urination / hair loss / racing thoughts / excessive yawning / depression
 / blurred vision / ringing in the ears / difficulty concentrating / electric shock feeling / fear of 
 losing control / flu-like symptoms / depression / dramatic mood swings / emotionally blunted 
 / frustration / irritability / over eating / under eating / difficulty swallowing / dry mouth / constant lump in the throat / depersonalisation / teeth grinding / self harm / brain fog
  6. 6. @Laura_Nelson_
  7. 7. Image credit: Jessie Cave @Laura_Nelson_
  8. 8. How you can help yourself. @Laura_Nelson_
  9. 9. 1. Keep a worry diary A journal in which you log all your worries (in real time!) and give them each a rating from 
 1 - 10 depending on how anxious it makes you feel. @Laura_Nelson_
  10. 10. TRAVELLING BY TRAIN 8/10 What if it’s busy and I can’t get on
 the train? Or if I do, I can’t get a seat and I 
 have to stand and be uncomfortable for
 the whole journey? Or what if I have to sit next to a
 stranger and they smell bad, or they 
 accidentally touch me? What if I’m late and miss the train I 
 need to get? What if the train is delayed en route
 and I’m late to my meeting? @Laura_Nelson_
  11. 11. Exhausting, right?
  12. 12. TRAVELLING BY TRAIN: THINGS THAT HELP Get an earlier train Travel during off-peak times Get a 1st class ticket Check what resources my local travel service offers @Laura_Nelson_
  13. 13. @Laura_Nelson_
  14. 14. 2. Make plans and stick to 
 a routine Try to stick to a routine at work and at home. Schedule regular tasks by blocking out your calendar. Give your brain set times it’s allowed to think about stuff. @Laura_Nelson_
  15. 15. 3. Talk 
 about it It can be hard at first. But it’s so worth it. @Laura_Nelson_
  16. 16. You are not alone. @Laura_Nelson_
  17. 17. 60 million people in the EU are affected by anxiety every year* *That’s loads.Image credit: DocAc (Flickr)
  18. 18. 4. Be kind to yourself You are awesome. Give yourself a break. @Laura_Nelson_
  19. 19. How your employer can help you. @Laura_Nelson_
  20. 20. @Laura_Nelson_ “Under the equality act 2010, there is legal duty on employers to make reasonable adjustments for employees with a disability*.” 
 - Mind   *you have a disability if you have an impairment that is either 
 physical or mental and the impairment has a substantial, adverse and long term effect on your normal daily activities.
  21. 21. @Laura_Nelson_ … what’s a reasonable adjustment?
  22. 22. 1. Flexible working 9 - 5 doesn’t work for everyone. A slight change can make a big difference. Sometimes the office is just too much. Giving someone the option to work from home may prevent the person from having to take a sick day. @Laura_Nelson_
  23. 23. 2. Keep a nice working environment Give your employee the option to move desks if their working environment isn’t right for them. @Laura_Nelson_
  24. 24. 3. Promote a healthy work-life balance Don’t put pressure on people to put in extra hours. Say no when you need to. Be assertive. Your health is the most important thing. @Laura_Nelson_
  25. 25. 4. Listen Take the time to listen and make reasonable adjustments. Don’t trivialise issues. @Laura_Nelson_
  26. 26. Some really good resources Mind - mental health charity WorryWatch - a worry diary app Headspace - a meditation app Mental health ‘first aid’ training EU: European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights US: Anxiety & Depression Association of America @Laura_Nelson_
  27. 27. Thanks! Any questions? Image credit: Beth Evans @Laura_Nelson_