The Fit Student – Work and Study Nerves

Has work stressed you to the point of quitting?

At work, in the past two weeks, I’ve sobbed, cringed, laughed, and loved. In the past two weeks, I’ve worked in marketing, HR, design, and IT. In the past two weeks, my boss threatened to fire me.

But I love it. Previously, career-preference-tests ranked marketing as my dream career. Now I see why. And, I felt no panic?until just a few hours ago. Stress. You see, at my last job, multi-hour panic attacks struck me daily. Devastated, I lost hope–until I discovered a cure: cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) otherwise known as self talk.

Once I discovered the cure?after a year of no anxiety?I returned to work. Now, every lunch hour, I read CBT at Work for Dummies by Gill Garrett. With CBT, I talk myself down from daily work stressors. I journal my heartaches at night. I prevent panic from making me a spacey wreck.

My best advice for anxiety? Take those career preference tests seriously?and use CBT. So, what does this have to do with you? Well, I’m going to show you how CBT can help you both at work–and at school. If you let stressors pile, you may find yourself stricken by anxiety. Take care of yourself while you can.

Gill Garrett’s work advice appears in bold below. My advice follows.

Comfort of commute can lead to job satisfaction or dissatisfaction.
Use the exam proctor at Athabasca so you can stay at home while writing tests. The thought of traveling to a stuffy exam location stifles and stresses me. You too? Then write exams from home.

Personalize your work area if you can.
Make your study area your own. Hang a picture of your beloveds. Burn aromatherapy. Post a motivational quote.

Write a list about the things you love about your present work. Then make a list of the things you’d love about an ideal work environment. Notice the mismatches.
Similarly, what do you love about your present studies? What would your fantasy study situation look like? I love reading linear algebra on the beaches of Mexico?but you couldn’t bribe me to read Bronte or Canadian history.

To combat stress, compare the gap between your fantasy and present study situation?adjust accordingly.

You have a mismatch between your values and actions? Stress!
If you value top notch essays, embrace them. But if you write less than your best, watch for stress. Rationalize the mismatch. Say to yourself, I feel bad, but I’ll do better next time. No-one does everything 100%. Besides, I can cope. Destress yourself.

Take breaks and weekends off. don’t go to work sick.
If studies excite you to the point that you pop out of bed in the wee hours, You’re on the right track. But if studies threaten your wellbeing, You’re ripe for CBT.

Say to yourself, I feel bad and I don’t like my studies. Life isn’t fair, but I do have choices. I can try to make things better or I can just accept things as is. Either way, I know I can cope.

Also, take at least half-a-day off from your studies each week. Go for a thick-topping pizza. See a show. Read Bronte. Every day, get a refreshing dose of sleep. Several days a week, exercise. Every year, travel.

don’t think in “shoulds” or “musts.” don’t impose unreasonable demands on yourself.
Whenever you stress over a “should” or “must,” calm yourself down with CBT. If you get a low grade, say to yourself, I don’t want to get stressed. I don’t like my grade, but I can accept that life has pitfalls. Besides, I can still improve on other areas—and, most of all, I know I can cope.

The more you use CBT self-talk, the calmer you feel. So, destress with CBT to relax jittery nerves.