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Interviewing With Anxiety

When it comes to things like interviews, most people tend to get nervous as you have to answer questions about yourself in front of a stranger. Attending an interview with an anxiety disorder is these common nerves, but on the next level.

I typically find myself thinking things like “I’m going to mess up” or “I shouldn’t even do this” when I’m prepping/waiting for the meeting itself. These negative thoughts only help to increase that anxiety, which could end up resulting in self sabotage.

Recently, I’ve had three different interviews for jobs and I decided to pay attention to the things I do to help me prep. By trying to reduce my nerves at the same time as increasing my confidence, I had came out of each meeting feeling successful. I did this by:

Reviewing my cover letter, resume, application, and job listing to ensure I had my qualifications, the job requirements, and everything else fresh in my mind. It made me feel more ready to answer (and ask) questions. I also found that I become even more nervous when I over prep by practicing a bunch of questions/scenarios.

– Give yourself more than enough time to get ready and get to be interview. I just find it helpful to be relaxed, not rushed, directly before.

– Wear something you feel comfortable and confident in. This will show in your body language and facial expressions and adds to your first impression.

Smile. This also is key in initial impressions as it gives a hint of your personality. Friendliness is something desired by almost all employers.

Ask questions too. Just because you’re the future employee doesn’t mean you should be the only one answering questions. Yes, you need to be a good fit for the company, but they also need to be a good fit for you. It’s also useful to know anything that’s unclear to you so you can make an informed decision later in the process.

Remember that interviewers know how intimidating and nerve wracking answering questions about yourself is. Being nervous or showing signs of nervousness is not the end of the world, it’s only natural. True employers take this into account, and only focus on your qualities and skills in regards to desired ones.

Breathe. This is a simple one, but it’s the most useful. When you’ve done everything above (and maybe more) but you still are jittery, take slow, deep breaths. This slows your heart rate and can help you to think more logically about your stress. This can be done whenever you start thinking about the interview, all the way up to two minutes before they call you in.

Furthermore, yes you’re going to be nervous. But that doesn’t have to define your interview. Small steps, like the ones above, can help you begin to get used to interviewing and social interactions in a way that’s less daunting.

No, I don’t like talking to strangers or answering questions about my strengths or weaknesses. But that part is bearable when I think about how much I can offer as an individual.

As I’ve said before, you can’t let your anxiety control you but you can learn to better manage it. Simple calming, centering, or focusing techniques can do a world of wonders during an anxiety attack. They can also help in preventing one during, or leading up to important occasions.

Go in there and remember to be you. That’s all there is to do really. If you don’t get hired, that’s okay. It was good practice, and there are always more opportunities out there.

Interviews suck, but they’re a large part of adult life and something people have to work towards before they feel even close to comfortable.

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Mental Health/Wellbeing

Genuine Connection Is Essential

I’m sure we’ve all had friendships where the sole basis is because we had a class with, or worked with, or lived next door to and nothing truly person. While these relations do provide benefits, you also deny yourself of establishing a true human connection.

Sure, it’s alright to have a few acquaintances from whom you benefit and vice versa, but it’s crucial to also create strong bonds with people.

Everyone knows that personalities are different and have a major role in successful relationships. It’s healthy to try to be friends with people you normally wouldn’t hangout with, but it’s even healthier when you know where to end the friendship if it’s not what you want.

There’s no point in continuing on with someone whom you don’t relate to, enjoy being around, or trust. This goes for both romantic relationships and platonic friendship.

Old friends as well as newer friends have of course taken me a while to get comfortable with, but I did it. I slowly worked on building up my own trust as well as there’s and I can honestly say I trust all of them with my whole heart.

It’s the same way with my boyfriend. I fully trust him, confide in him, and express myself to him. I’m thankful everyday I get to spend my time with him and grow with him.

As for those that are no longer in my life, I found that my personality or goals for myself no longer matched up with their’s. It’s okay to let people go in order for yourself to grow. Find people who are your sunshine.

Especially when you battle with mental health issues, finding people who can make you feel safe, relaxed, and loves is a must. You don’t have to go through whatever it is alone. There are people out there that will care about you, help you, and give you their time.

Once you have found the beautiful humans that you click with, do everything you can to maintain a healthy relationship.

Mental Health/Wellbeing

Physical Ailments Alongside Mental Ones

As you all know by now, I battle both depression and anxiety on a day-to-day basis. One thing you may not know is that I also have both severe asthma and allergies and have for my entire life. Some may think that physical illness/health has nothing or very little do with mental health, but that’s not true.

When my allergies bog me down physically, it heightens my mental illness. I’m more anxious and sluggish than normal because I’m worried about missing school or work due to feeling bad, or just simply not being able to do normal things. This is when I’m most likely to procrastinate and sleep or isolate myself; this in turn only worsens the anxiety later on.

Not being able to breath very well because of asthma induces anxiety attacks and other symptoms of the sort. It also brings out more intense depression manifestations as I reflect on my poor health.

If you have both physical and cognitive issues that influence your daily activities, it is wise to educate yourself on whether or not the two could be related and feeding off of each other. This may not always be the case, but if it is, this realization could open tons of doors for tackling two problems at once. For example, my asthma of course causes difficulty breathing, which then produces anxiety. I’ve learned that both meditation and simple breathing exercises can effectively help me reduce both of these matters.

Another thing to think about here is any medications you take and their potential side effects. While it is common knowledge that not everyone who takes a specific prescription will experience all, or even any, possible side effects, it is still worth the research.

Recently, I discovered that the numerous prescriptions I take to combat my asthma and allergies all have the ability to INCREASE both anxiety disorders and depression. Therefore, I am currently working with a pharmacist to go through the actual probability that this is happening to me, or if my mental illness is completely separate from my medications. I will give more information on this at a later date.

Side effects are listed for a medication when ANY of the subjects in the medicine’s trial period experience them, even if it’s only one person. Don’t just assume your medication is the sole reason for your symptom(s), talk to a doctor or pharmacist instead as they’ll be more likely to be able to help pin point the real source.

Your mental and physical health always go hand in hand. Just like exercise can cause euphoria, ensuring your mental well being can have tremendous results on your body. The two are a team here and it is important to focus on improving both, not just one.

“Physical strength will get you to the start line, but mental strength will get you to the finish line.” 29386140_10214480747966179_4511950568588864687_n

Mental Health/Wellbeing

Attending Work/School With Mental Illness Can Be Less Daunting

In today’s world, money is the main motivator for the majority (whether they like to admit it or not). This has increased competition and thus pressure on all, but especially, younger generations to get their futures planned out if they simply want to survive. This may come easy to some people who find themselves as good, responsible communicators, but what about those who struggle with this aspect of life?

Having had both anxiety and depression throughout most of my life, I can tell you that some parts of socialization do get easier with practice and experience, but that doesn’t mean the struggle just disappears.

For me, going to school everyday has always been a challenge. What if I get called on? What if someone makes fun of me but I’m too scared to defend myself? What if no one talks to me? These ‘what if’ questions may seem trivial and almost humorous to some, but they’re the stressful reality for others.

Anxiety creates a feeling of impending doom and usually tries to distract the brain from any logical solutions to the current worry. This makes it extremely difficult, maybe even impossible, to function in a setting that is typically seen as normal. Pair this with depression, and the symptoms worsen. Now, you’re not only overwhelmed by this feeling that something (unknown) bad is going to inevitably happen, but there’s also a sense of not wanting to do or being capable of doing anything about it. Your shakiness increases, while you also can feel yourself becoming numb. How are people who face these battles daily expected to function in a ‘normal’ way? They shouldn’t be.

No matter if you share your experiences with mental illness with those around you or not, there’s always opportunity to find some relief from them in order to lead your ideal life.

One of the best things I discovered for myself was that at my University, there’s a program in place specifically to help those with disabilities that impede on their learning. Anyone with any physical, mental, or cognitive disability can be put on record with this program and from there, they help to devise a plan that’s unique to you and your needs in order to succeed at the school. Here, you get to also communicate with teachers, telling them as much or as little about your working with the program and the accommodations you’ll be needing. I find this program very helpful and wish it would’ve been available in my earlier years of schooling.

Another key point I would like to bring up is the fact that you should always maintain contact with your managers/supervisors/professors/etc. when your mental illness could possibly conflict with their expectations of you. I know this can be scary as it took me quite a long time before I finally talked with my managers, but the results can be so rewarding. Anyone who is in a position of authority in the workforce has to have some kind of empathy and understanding when it comes to their employees. You may find that your supervisor also deals with mental battles or knows someone who does and will thus be more than happy to work with you through your hardships. However, it is possible they have little understanding in this area and may need you to further explain and possibly show proof of your struggle and need for accommodations. Either way, this is a very possible step for anyone who finds their mental gets a little to overpowering when mixed with their physical.

To put it succinctly, yes, holding a steady job or education path can be difficult for someone who lives with things such as anxiety disorders, depression, or any other type of mental illness. This does NOT  make it impossible. Here, communication is key. It’s very hard to talk down on or disregard someone when they lay out their struggles in front of you. If you are struggling day-to-day to get out of bed and go to your classes or your shift at work, consider talking with your higher-ups about things that would make it easier on the both of you.

P.S. If your school/job is worsening your mental health or stalling your progression in terms of bettering yourself, there’s no shame in changing it up. I get this may be hard as the workforce and school force are extremely competitive, but if you’re not the best you that you can be mentally, you will see the same reflect in your physical life. Mental health is one of the most important things that you can somewhat control and also affects almost all other aspects of life, so every step to improve here should be taken. blog 44