Many of you know I went on long term sick in the middle of 2018 due to Anxiety. I have been working towards getting back into work over the past couple of months and taking things slowly.
When you suffer from Anxiety work can become extremely stressful. Not only as a business owner but for anyone working along side this difficult condition. Over the past 5 years of owning the salon I ended up sending my body into overdrive due to personal circumstances. This is one of the main reasons I ended up very unwell last summer. As a business owner I find it very difficult to take time away from work. Although I already have a human baby who I adrore, my work is like a second baby to me. I use to spend hours and hours at home trying to juggle a busy life of being a mum, running a business, keeping to deadlines, ordering stock, spending time on work social media, advertising, spending time with family, friends, housework…the list goes on and for many people like myself it never ends. Now, everyone has plenty of responsibilities to tackle in their daily life but those who struggle with anxiety can often forget to add in the “rest” part of the day. I also find resting very difficult because its often the time when my thoughts will wonder, But that’s a blog topic for another day!
When you’re stressed, anxious, depressed etc the last thing you feel manageable, is work. All you want to do is hide away. Stay home and not face the day. Things can get worse by this and your body can actually prevent you from leaving the house. When we feel like we need to take time off work that then causes more stress. For me personally I felt like taking time of work being unwell made me a failure. Not being able to get up and do the job I love was so difficult. But my body was telling me to stop. Spending time off work away from the salon made my anxiety worse. All those feelings that you’re letting other people down because you can’t make it in exacerbate anxiety and so the vicious cycle begins.
It took me many months to come back to work (let alone leave my house) and slowly but surely I’ve done it. What’s been most important is to take things slowly. Not to rush back into doing everything you feel like you have to do because ultimately the only thing in life you have to do is look after yourself. I started by spending a few hours in the salon. Then a couple of half days. I’m still currently only here 3 days a week working longer hours and eventually I would like to be back up to 4 days. When I’m at work it’s a distraction. I have a purpose when I’m here and the anxiety improves because I am doing something that I enjoy. There are days when I can’t manage and times when I want to run back home but this feeling is slowly diminishing and I’m finding work easier and easier as time goes on.
My advice to anyone who is struggling with mental health and if it’s affecting their work would be to tell someone. Tell your boss, tell your doctor, tell your friends. Anyone that you think will lead you in the right direction. Sometimes pushing on isn’t the answer and this can take things too far and before you know it you have no choice other than to not be able to go to work because your body is in shut down mode. Get the help you need before it’s to late. It really is that simple.
When I’m at work. I work. When I’m at home I spend the time finding who I am again. Having the balance between the two is enabling me to get back the life I’ve always wanted.
If work is your main cause of stress then make sure you really sit down and figure out what it is that you want. Life is too short to spend in a job that you hate. Regardless of the pay cheque you receive at the end of the month. I’m certainly not suggesting you leave your job straight away. Give up all your responsibilities but taking the time to seek your other options can be really beneficial. For me taking a step back and allowing my body and mind to recover has improved not only my mental health but also my business.
I have been very lucky in the sense that my transition back to work has been at my own pace and although people feel they may not have the same opportunity as I do when it comes to taking thing slowly then it’s time to see what’s the most important in life. You. Your physical and mental wellbeing and your happiness.
Thank you for reading! If you’re enjoying these posts then please comment below either on Facebook or directly to this blog post. If there’s any areas you would like me to cover on how I cope in daily life or anything you find anxiety provoking then please do let me know 😌