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home : columns : dear harriette October 23, 2020

8/25/2020 7:40:00 AM
New employee struggles with anxiety

DEAR HARRIETTE: Since I was young, waking up in the morning and starting my day has always been a struggle, along with my lifelong battle with anxiety. I am starting a new job, and I face my anxiety every morning. I overthink everything that I need to do before I get out the door for my commute. I get so anxious and overwhelmed that I am regretting taking the job and am considering the possibility that I may never have a normal life. What can I do? My anxiety is ruining my life. -- Scared Early Bird

DEAR SCARED EARLY BIRD: You should speak to a therapist to address your anxiety. If you have clinically diagnosed anxiety, there are medical treatments that may be able to help you dramatically change your state and help you to cope with your daily routine.

Beyond that, you can also do things to help yourself. Years ago I learned that it is wise to plan your day the night before. That includes reviewing the schedule of the day and preparing for it. Select the clothing that you will wear based upon the day's requirements. Pack your work bag. If you bring your lunch to work, prepare it and bag it so that all you have to do is retrieve it from the refrigerator. Do everything you can the night before so that when you wake up, you are executing your plan rather than contemplating what the plan should be. This can cut down significantly on any discomfort you may be feeling.

DEAR HARRIETTE: My soon-to-be-ex-husband and I have two teenage kids. We have been married 20 years but have been separated for the past five. I have a boyfriend of two years, but I still live at home with my family. My boyfriend and I recently had a baby, and we are now looking for a home of our own to buy while my divorce is finalized.

The issue is that my ex-husband cannot let go. We all get along well, which I am thankful for, but he makes me feel like he is too comfortable with the situation, which makes me uncomfortable. Now he has invited my boyfriend and my newborn to come live together with him and my kids as a big blended family. Everyone is happy, but I just do not think this is the answer. Am I being closed-minded? Should I embrace this new family? -- Newly Blended

DEAR NEWLY BLENDED: You say that you currently live at home with your family. Does that mean that you still live with your soon-to-be-ex-husband and your children? If that is true, it is kind and thoughtful of your ex to invite you to stay and to welcome your boyfriend. Did you have the baby while living at home with your family? Again, if that is so, it makes sense that your ex would imagine that you would be planning to stay. You haven't left yet.

I also think it's a good idea for you to move and establish your own home with your new family, in close enough proximity to be able to stay close to your children. Your job now is to work out your family dynamics with your ex and with your new partner. Since you have children, you will have to work it all out together to create harmony.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)





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