I hope you’re ok! As Orange Squid’s resident Organisational Psychologist, I’ve been having so many conversations about how to work and lead (and feel!) better during these times of uncertainty, I thought it could be helpful to share some of the strategies with you; and to inject you with a bit of psychology.
Anxiety levels have certainly been on the rise, which makes sense as anxiety is our response to stress. It is the fear of what might happen in the future. And for a lot of us, things have been stressful!
It’s helpful to recognise this, because dealing with and/or leading people through times of anxiety takes some adjustment.
Here are some strategies you can use.
Anxiety’s side effects (I’m looking at you, irritability)
One of the unfortunate (but very common) side effects of anxiety is irritability. We typically ‘save’ this irritability for those who are emotionally closest to us, but in these unprecedented times, irritability at work has become increasingly common. As is often the case, unprecedented times require unprecedented measures.
Anxiety & decision making
The impact of anxiety on decision making has been researched a lot. And the results are clear: anxiety and making high quality decisions do not go hand in hand. A common response to anxiety is to catastrophise (obsessing about the worst possible outcome) which then in itself can lead to increased anxiety. This can become so overwhelming that you freeze, and are therefore unable to make any real decisions and move forward at all.
We don’t all catastrophise of course. But even for those of us who don’t, increased stress and anxiety is proven to reduce our cognitive ability. It temporarily makes us less smart, and impacts the quality of our decisions (and our creativity!) in a negative way.
Anxiety & mental health
There has been some focus on the impact of COVID-19 on mental health, and rightly so. Whether it is anxiety, loneliness or any other feeling related to the impact of this pandemic, it has never been more important to put people, wellbeing and mental health first.
If there’s anything I/we can help with, drop me a line on email@example.com