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Work Issues

What are work issues?

  • There are lots of things that can make you feel stressed about work, from losing your job, to unrealistic workloads.
  • When they’re not managed, work issues can lead to low-self esteem, stress, anxiety, or burnout. 
  • It’s common to experience these issues at some point in your career, but you aren’t alone.


Whether you’re feeling overloaded, or have recently become unemployed, work, or a lack of it, can be a common source of worry for many of us. Work stress can affect our mental and physical wellbeing, but talking about your feelings can help you to move forward.

CALM are here to support you with work issues. If something is worrying you, you can call for free, or use our webchat service and we’ll support you in your next steps. Contact the CALM helpline here.

How do work issues feel?

Our lives often revolve around work. It shapes our routines, gives us a sense of purpose and can even be a source of friendships. So, when work gets on top of us, or we find ourselves out of work, the stress can have a big impact. If you’re experiencing trouble at work, you may feel some of the following:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Tiredness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Trouble concentrating 
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Increased irritability 
  • Muscle tension and headaches
  • Social withdrawal

Why do people experience work issues?

Things can quickly get on top of us at work, especially when we’re trying to keep everyone happy. Long hours, heavy workload, tight deadlines, or job insecurity are just a few factors that can cause work-related stress. These pressures can pile up, making it increasingly difficult to manage. When things feel overwhelming at work, this can not only cause a drop in productivity, but also in our wellbeing. 

Our jobs can quickly become a part of our identity, so when they are taken away from us, it’s normal to feel a bit lost. Becoming unemployed can come with many different worries, from financial anxieties, to not knowing what the future holds. Long-term unemployment can be really difficult to deal with, often undermining our self-confidence, which in turn can hinder job searches and productivity.

Where can I find help?

  • Talk to CALM from 5pm to midnight everyday. Our professional helpline workers are there to talk and to help you find ways to move forward. Calls and webchats are free, anonymous, non-judgemental and confidential 
  • Outside of these hours, call the Samaritans on 116 123. 
  • Contact your GP for an appointment.

Dealing with worries at work

If you’re beginning to experience burnout, or finding it hard to switch off from work in the evenings, there are some things you can try to help manage work stress and look after your mental wellbeing:

  • If you’re able, book some time off to do some things you enjoy, even if it’s a low-key staycation, or a long weekend .
  • Give yourself a moment to relax. Read a book, take a bath, whatever helps you to unwind.
  • Try indulging in hobbies you enjoy to take your mind off work. 
  • Eat well – skipping meals will mean you’re low on your energy stores and can leave you feeling drained.
  • Make time to see or speak to your mates. Having a chat with friends or family can help us get things off our chest. 
  • If possible, set boundaries to help maintain a healthy work-life balance. If you’re asked to take on extra work, or to stay in the office after your colleagues have left, have the confidence to stand your ground and say no.
  • Take breaks at work. Don’t stay glued to the job – take a few minutes to sit back and relax, or take a walk during your break.

If your work anxieties and stresses aren’t improving, you may think about talking to your GP. They can give you advice on the best ways to manage these feelings and move forward.

Dealing with worries about being out of work 

If you’ve recently lost your job, keeping your wellbeing in check can help you feel a little more in control of your situation. Here are a few ways to look after yourself during this time:

  • Start the day with a task list to help you secure future work, whether it’s contacting your local Job Centre, or polishing your CV. 
  • Maintain time for self-care. Job searching can be draining, so allow yourself time to decompress with a walk or something you enjoy. 
  • Take control over the things you’re able to take control over and try to remember your situation is temporary. 
  • Seek support from friends, family, or talk with other people who have been in a similar position. This can help lighten the load.

Talking about work issues:

It can be difficult to talk about work issues to your friends, family, colleagues, or a medical professional. Here’s some ways you can start a conversation around how you’re feeling: 

“I need to talk to you about how I’m feeling. Things are difficult with work/finding work. I don’t need you to find a solution, I just want to share how I feel.” 

“I need to talk – I’ve been struggling lately because of work…” 

Header illustration by Hattie Newman