Have you ever had a great weekend with friends and family or simply enjoyed your Saturday running errands and getting ready for a new week and then Sunday evening comes along….and you’re dreading to go to work? This was my life for 15 years. Every. Single. Sunday.
It was horrible.
I would spend my Sunday evening having thoughts like, “I wish I was rich and didn’t have to work.” Or, “Maybe I can call off and say I’m sick.” And my favorite one that I conjured up constantly, “I should just quit and find another job.”
What I didn’t realize then was that none of these obsessive thoughts were healthy or helping me feel better. All they did was dug me into a deeper whole of anxiety and stress towards my job.
If I’m honest with myself, the reason I was feeling overwhelmed with my work was because I wasn’t happy with my personal productivity at work. I either had a situation where I made a mistake at work and was reprimanded for it (rightfully so) and was then beating myself up about it OR I didn’t like a coworker manager. Typically if was the former.
What’s crazy is these “Sunday night worries” seemed perfectly valid to me back then. I genuinely believed that I should call off or quit my job. Mind you, I was a single mom and every dollar I earned was uber necessary for taking care of my daughter and myself. Yet I believed quitting would solve all my problems. Calling off on Monday would allow me yet another day of rest. But I realize now that I was just running away from my problems. Yes it would make me feel some relief for the time being but that was about all it did.
If I had in fact didn’t go to work on Monday, then on Monday evening I would be worried about going to work on Tuesday. Which then made me hate my job (and myself) even more! A vicious cycle.
Avoidance Never Works
Avoiding my job was the worst thing I could have done on Sunday nights or Monday mornings. So was worrying myself into a frenzy. Worrying took all the rest away from my weekend.
In hindsight, what I should have done was talk to my manager or team leader about how I was feeling. Clearly there was something going on at work that was creating havoc in my brain.
I’m certain that if I had shared my weekly worries with them, they would have helped me through it. A supportive team leader will hear you out with compassion and support. They will talk you through the anxious thoughts you’re having. I wish I would have done this. It would have saved me a lot of heart and headaches.
Mental Health = Work Happiness
I’m sure most people don’t equate a healthy brain with a happy work life but hear me out.
Brooke Castillo with The Life Coach School is a life coach that helps people create amazing lives by holding themselves accountable to the thoughts they’re having daily. She teaches her students to manage their thoughts and thus managing what kind of emotions they have.
For example, podcast episode about The Five Emotional Skills, she explains that it’s ok be frustrated or worried or upset. She encourages us to feel the emotion and be aware of it, not combat it by pushing it away or getting anxious about getting anxious. Then it’s double the worry!
Per Brooke, we have two brains, our primitive brain and our cognitive brain. Our cognitive brain is the brain we use consciously to make choices. Our primitive brain is the one that keeps us safe and ran by our subconscious. Typically when we have feelings of worry or stress, our primitive brain takes over and wants to keep us safe. Because we are worrying, it thinks something is wrong and we are in danger thus giving us the feeling that we should flee from the current situation because it could bring us harm. Little does our monkey brain know that we are only anxious about work not running from a saber toothed tiger.
In other words, having anxiety about your work doesn’t mean run from your job.
But I understand now that that’s what I was doing in my past jobs. Something would go wrong, I wouldn’t talk about it with my boss, I’d worry incessantly and have anxiety about going to work weekly.
“Having anxiety about your work doesn’t mean run away from your job.”
Sharing will bring Caring
In an ideal work environment, sharing your worries about your work with your supervisor should hopefully open up a dialogue of compassion and understanding. Be honest and vulnerable about what’s bothering you. The more your boss knows the better they can help you.
I sincerely hope this brings you some encouragement to open up at work. Don’t be like me and avoid the inevitable! Most things are reparable. Forget the Sunday night speculations and enjoy your weekend ( and workweek) by tackling things head on. You can do it!