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Easing the anxious mind:
Dealing with anxiety in 

the workplace
Laura Nelson - Marketing Manager, cat stalker
& very anxious person
@Laura_Nelson_
Marketing Manager at
Pragmatic
@pragmaticweb
WordCamp Brighton 2018
lead organiser

@WordCampBTN
What is anxiety?
@Laura_Nelson_
“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_
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
@Laura_Nelson_
Image credit:
Jessie Cave
@Laura_Nelson_
How you can help
yourself.
@Laura_Nelson_
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_
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_
Exhausting,
right?
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_
@Laura_Nelson_
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_
3. Talk 

about it
It can be hard at first.
But it’s so worth it.
@Laura_Nelson_
You are not
alone.
@Laura_Nelson_
60 million people in the
EU are affected by
anxiety every year*
*That’s loads.Image credit:
DocAc (Flickr)
4. Be kind to
yourself
You are awesome.
Give yourself a break.
@Laura_Nelson_
How your employer
can help you.
@Laura_Nelson_
@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.
@Laura_Nelson_
… what’s a reasonable
adjustment?
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_
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_
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_
4. Listen
Take the time to listen
and make reasonable
adjustments.
Don’t trivialise issues.
@Laura_Nelson_
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_
Thanks!
Any questions?
Image credit:
Beth Evans
@Laura_Nelson_

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

  • 1. Easing the anxious mind: Dealing with anxiety in 
 the workplace Laura Nelson - Marketing Manager, cat stalker & very anxious person @Laura_Nelson_
  • 2. Marketing Manager at Pragmatic @pragmaticweb WordCamp Brighton 2018 lead organiser
 @WordCampBTN
  • 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. 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
  • 8. How you can help yourself. @Laura_Nelson_
  • 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. 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_
  • 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_
  • 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. 3. Talk 
 about it It can be hard at first. But it’s so worth it. @Laura_Nelson_
  • 17. 60 million people in the EU are affected by anxiety every year* *That’s loads.Image credit: DocAc (Flickr)
  • 18. 4. Be kind to yourself You are awesome. Give yourself a break. @Laura_Nelson_
  • 19. How your employer can help you. @Laura_Nelson_
  • 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. @Laura_Nelson_ … what’s a reasonable adjustment?
  • 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. 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. 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. 4. Listen Take the time to listen and make reasonable adjustments. Don’t trivialise issues. @Laura_Nelson_
  • 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_