Stepping Away


Have you ever felt anxious or overwhelmed when standing in a crowd of people? If so, how do you handle these types of situations? Do you continue to stand around and feel anxious? Do you excuse yourself, find a quiet spot, and recover?

One piece of advice I received a few years back involves taking care of one’s mental health by “stepping away” from stressful moments to recuperate, or “center” one’s self.

For the past nine years I’ve been working in public service jobs—this includes positions such as customer service desk employee, retail sales associate, and so forth. One thing I’ve realized since that first year of working in a high-volume (or extremely busy) bookstore is that I tend to get stressed after a few hours of helping customers back-to-back. I believe this happens because I’m more of an “introvert” or “home-body” and tend to keep to myself. I do love going out with friends and having a good time but I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m okay and content spending time by myself, not always being surrounded by other people. So, it only makes sense that I need to take a few minutes to recollect myself in order to handle all of the customers coming in and out of stores.

The act of “stepping away” is something that can be used in a variety of different situations. For example, if you’re in class and there are too many students speaking at once, causing your feelings of anxiety to increase, then it’s important to raise your hand and ask the teacher or professor if you can use the restroom or leave the classroom to stop by a near water fountain. Even if you aren’t actually using the restroom or getting a drink of water it’s important to realize when you’re feeling anxious so that you can “get some fresh air” or take a short walk whenever it’s needed – as long as you aren’t goofing off while doing so!

Try to remember that every person has a unique personality. Sometimes it’s necessary to acknowledge that, and to understand that it’s okay to take a step away from someone or from a group of people as a way to manage from those feelings of being overwhelmed, stressed, or anxious.

It’s important to take care of yourself and you shouldn’t feel bad or guilty if you need to step away from the noise!

In the meantime, check out App Games for Anxiety for a short list of fun ways to take your mind off stressful situations.

And this article talks more about pressing the “pause button” when you feel anxious.

What strategies do you use to calm down when you feel anxious? Which of these are similar to “stepping away”? Tell us in the comments!

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