After the summer – with all its associations of holidays, sunshine and relaxation – the thought of getting back to work can be daunting and even depressing. Perhaps you’ve been putting those feelings of dissatisfaction with your work to the back of your mind, even hoping that a bit of rest and relaxation will have changed how you feel. Work takes up such a large chunk of our lives, and it’s somewhere that we sometimes notice feeling bullied, panicky, overwhelmed, unrecognised or unfulfilled. The pressure of meeting deadlines and targets can be huge, bringing with it great anxiety and harm to self-esteem.
Many of my clients come because of work-related issues and the ways in which they are affected by them aren’t always left at the office. They inevitably come home to affect family and personal relationships. And even when we’re supposed to be getting away from it all it’s all too easy to check emails and make conference calls even on the beach or in the hotel restaurant: too often work seems to come first.
Work can also be the place where people feel they have to appear confident, happy and together. Often people feel they can’t talk honestly to their boss or colleagues about how they feel, leaving them stuck dealing with difficult feelings alone or taking them out on family and friends. Counselling can support you in various ways, including learning how to strike a balance between the demands of work and the ability to respond to those demands. It can also help you to understand what is happening to you and to feel able to make choices about how to cope with, and even perhaps enjoy, such an important part of your life.