How Remote Working Helped My Anxiety
It has only been a few years since I was officially diagnosed with anxiety and panic attacks. Anxiety affects a person’s day-to-day life and panic attacks can happen at random times for no reason whatsoever. Working previous non-remote jobs only added to my daily stresses in life with factors such as long commutes, dealing with rude or even violent customers, and never getting enough sleep. I was never able to accept the stressful lifestyle of a 45+ minute commute, nine-to-five office worker.
Less Commuting = A Relaxed Mind
Whether you are a customer service agent or a district manager, commuting to work can be one of the most stressful events of the day. In major cities such as Los Angeles or New York, traffic can be unpredictable leading to many workers needing to leave home up to two hours before their shift begins! When I used to work in downtown San Francisco, it took me about 45 minutes to an hour to get to work via bus even though I only live five miles away. I was constantly checking the bus schedule on my phone, calculating the time it would take me to walk to the bus station (8 minutes) and catch the next bus. My horror came when the bus, on occasion, magically arrived earlier than planned and I would see it driving away without me. As a remote worker, I don’t have to worry about running after any buses, trains, or being stuck in traffic. Being able to completely eliminate this stressful chunk out of my day has made me much more relaxed which translates into my work and helps me give my 100% every time!
Work at Your Own Pace
Every customer is appreciated because they help keep businesses alive. Being in a happier state (not having to commute), I’m able to give my full attention to the needs of the customer. In many face-to-face retail jobs, there is bound to be an unhappy customer or two. Perhaps the product quality was bad, their coupon expired the night before, or they are just having a bad day. Being able to work remotely, it gives me time to really delve into the situation and get to the root of the problem. It can be a real dilemma having a demanding customer in front of you expecting a prompt reply. I don’t have to have an immediate answer and reply within seconds like in a regular face-to-face conversation. I can take a few minutes to gather all of the info I need to help fix their issue. This results in happier customers, better understanding and communication, and less social anxiety for myself.
Enjoy More Sleep
One of the biggest stress factors for me was not getting enough sleep. I had trouble relaxing the night before I had a morning shift and would end up having anxiety or even a panic attack because I was so worried that my alarm would not go off or I’d somehow be late to work and end up losing my job and not be able to pay my bills. This may sound overly dramatic but it’s a real worry with people who have medically diagnosed anxiety. I had to wake up early enough to get ready and look presentable as well as give myself enough time to commute to work. It became an almost daily struggle as I felt my happiness and energy levels falling. With eliminating both my commute time and the amount of time it takes me to get ready for work (I don’t need make-up to reply to emails), I’ve been able to add about two additional hours of sleep which not only makes me happy but skyrockets my productivity! I hardly ever get any sleep-related anxiety attacks because I’m not worried about being late to work. I feel happy, refreshed, and ready to take on the day once my shift begins.
Remote Working Comfort
Anxiety is not a fun thing to deal with and unfortunately for those who have it, there really is no cure. Working from home allows me to be in a comfortable space, away from the everyday hustle of fellow commuters. I can breathe, work at my own (yet effective) pace, and even eat my lunch when I actually feel hungry as opposed to a designated lunch time! I’m glad to be able to say that I have not had any work-related anxiety attacks because of my remote job and actually look forward to working every day. Having such awesome, family-like co-workers also adds to the enjoyment in the workspace. When you have an entire support group of colleagues in the same remote working situation, there is nowhere for the satisfaction level to go but up.