There are certain situations we go through in life that are more stressful than others, such as moving, facing illness, going through a divorce or dealing with financial troubles. Starting a new job also ranks high on this list and can be just as stressful.

It’s important to manage this inevitable stress effectively to maintain both physical and mental well-being.
For those in the healthcare field, pursuing a DNP to FNP can add another layer of stress but also equips you with the resilience and skills needed for managing mental health in the workplace.

Recognising Signs of Anxiety When Starting a New Job

Changing jobs is an important event that often comes with a mix of excitement and nervousness. From the moment you accept the offer until you settle into your new role, it’s common to experience a whirlwind of emotions. 

Questions about your capabilities, fitting in with colleagues, and adapting to new routines can provoke feelings of anxiety. In fact, 65% of workers in the USA report experiencing imposter syndrome, which is characterized by self-doubt and a perceived lack of competence. 

Additionally, about 87% of job seekers feel anxious about starting a new position. This anxiety is a natural response to the unknowns of a new job and the changes it brings to your daily life. Adjusting to unfamiliar tasks and a new routine can be challenging. 

It’s important to acknowledge that feeling nervous or uncertain during this period is entirely normal. However, when anxiety begins to interfere with your daily life, recognizing the signs is vital for managing it effectively.

Physical signs of anxiety may include:

  • Fatigue and low energy levels.
  • Headaches.
  • Nausea.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Increased heart rate.

Mental and emotional symptoms can consist of:

  • Irritability.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Persistent self-doubt.

Understanding these signs can help you recognize when it’s time to seek support or employ strategies to alleviate anxiety. Remember, experiencing some level of anxiety when starting a new job is expected, but it shouldn’t overwhelm your ability to enjoy this new chapter in your career.

How To Take Care of Your Mental Health in the Workplace

Recognizing and addressing signs of new job anxiety is essential for a smoother transition into your new role. Here are seven steps to help you safeguard your mental health when starting your new job, enabling a more positive and successful transition into your new role:

  1. Give Yourself Credit With Positive Affirmations

Remember, you were chosen for this job because you have the necessary skills and qualities and you deserve it. Recognize your worth and boost your confidence with positive affirmations. 

Positive affirmations are mantras that you repeat to yourself or write down. 

Repeating positive statements can transform your mindset from doubt to self-confidence, becoming a vital part of your self-care routine.

  1. Be Prepared for Your New Role

Familiarize yourself with your new company and role, but don’t pressure yourself to know everything immediately. Complete any required paperwork in advance, plan your outfit, prepare your lunch if needed, and organize your commute to reduce first-day stress

Personalizing your workspace with familiar items can also make it feel more welcoming.

  1. Prioritise Self-Care

The mix of excitement and anxiety can be draining. Dedicate time to relax and rejuvenate. Good sleep hygiene, healthy eating, and mindfulness practices can help maintain your energy levels and overall well-being.

  1. Practise Mindfulness

Engaging in mindfulness techniques helps manage anxiety by keeping you present and where you learn to accept your feelings. This practice not only aids in relaxation but also reduces stress and anxiety as you adjust to your new role.

  1. Share Your Feelings

Discussing your apprehensions with someone you trust can help calm your feelings of anxiety. A close friend or family member can offer reassurance and remind you of your capabilities. 

If your anxiety persists, consider seeking support from a professional therapist who will help you deal with these emotions effectively. Feelings that are left unaddressed can lead to bigger problems. This will affect your mental health, leaving you feeling unfocused and making it difficult for you to perform at your best.

  1. Maintain Regular Exercise

Physical activity is beneficial for reducing stress and enhancing mood. It lowers stress hormones and stimulates endorphin production, which helps boost mood and increases your self-confidence. 

Find an exercise you enjoy and make it a regular part of your daily routine to sustain that feeling of well-being.

  1. Connect With New Colleagues

The thought of being alone when you start a new job only adds more stress to the anxiety that you already feel. Initiate conversations with your new colleagues from the beginning. 

Building relationships with your new coworkers can help ease the stress of feeling isolated. But remember to be patient; establishing connections based on mutual respect takes time. Be patient and you will soon become a valued and respected part of the team. 

Sustaining Mental Well-Being Beyond the New Job Transition

Remember that the anxiety felt surrounding a new job is a phase that paves the way to personal and professional growth. It’s essential to recognize that this period of adjustment is both natural and temporary. 

By adopting strategies to manage stress, you set a strong foundation for not only overcoming initial anxieties but also for maintaining your mental health in the long run.