How do I tell my Boss I am Anxious?
As I start a new job I face the challenge of discussing my mental health with my peers. As an advocate for mental health awareness and as someone who is more than happy to share my storey, this is still something that I find really difficult.
Do I blurt it out and shout from the rooftops to make sure everyone is aware? (maybe not).
Do I say nothing and hope to maybe block it out and put it behind me? (defiantly not).
What I actually opted for was waiting for an opportunity to share in conversation with my colleagues, my new boss and my supervisor. Sometimes I think I find it easy to talk about these things via a blog and behind the safety of my keyboard but it is so important to be able to share mental health problems with people I am now working closely with, especially in my new role as an FCP in Primary Care. The job, like many in healthcare at the moment, is tough, and as a new and developing service will be full on. A challenge that I am ready for and look forward to but with a sense that I know my personality and know I can push myself beyond my fatigue and mental health capabilities. For me, getting the balance right is key and obviously constantly thinking about this situation is a double edge sword, as makes me anxious... fun times!
I find it easy to discuss with my supervisor and boss as will always tend to be on a121 level and in this instance found a great way to combine into induction conversations regarding fatigue and health at work. The peer's conversation I always find a little more tricky. The opportunity arose yesterday as I saw a leaflet in the staff room for 'Wellbeing Support' contact numbers and hubs available for NHS staff. It presented the opportunity to not only share a message that means so much with my team but also to weave in the reason why the message is important on a personal level.
My new team at Primary Care Physio are amazing and I can already see and feel an incredible network of support and trust, both professionally and personally. I received some lovely messages from colleges and already have a supervisor who is supportive and aware. This 'small hurdle' was therefore fairly easy to overcome in my instance but I am aware this is still something people find very difficult. My advice; to anyone in this situation, is to do what works for you but make sure you have an 'outlet' or someone you can talk to, even if it isn't within your working environment. I would always urge anyone, to be honest with their employers and peers regarding mental health, but appreciate this isn't always that easy. You may find that most employers will provide ample and more than adequate support for you at work/personally and it may just take that one conversation with someone you trust.
My message is simple as always; please talk to someone if you feel like you are struggling or if these words resonate with you in any way. The fear and anxiety you may face about sharing something personal at work can be made instantly easier by talking to someone you trust. The answer to my own question at the top of this blog is easily sorted for me as I share this on social media ;) but please reach out to anyone if you are struggling at work!
It really is OK not to be OK!