This post is written as being somewhat sarcastic, but I do personally get a case of cubicle anxiety sometimes. If you really do have bad anxiety, consult your physician.
You don’t necessarily have to sit in a cubicle all day long to develop what I call “cube fever”, or cubicle anxiety. Just sit in one place for hours and hours just staring at a computer screen, and you are bound to have some idea of what cubicle anxiety is all about.
It’s a restlessness. You sit down and immediately don’t want to be anywhere near your computer. Call it technology burnout. Call it not wanting to work. Or call it cubicle anxiety.
What are the symptoms of cubicle anxiety?
The first major symptom is restlessness. You just don’t want to sit down. You find yourself having to take breaks every fifteen or twenty minutes to escape the torture that is being inflicted upon your senses. When you return, you immediately think about how to escape again.
The second major symptom is boredom, which ties into restlessness. For those having the luxury of desk jobs, sometimes there just isn’t enough to do. Surfing the Internet gets old real quick and the minutes only go by so fast. An eight or nine hour day of boredom can be excruciating. You come home tired, even though you didn’t do anything. Your morale is low. You don’t want to go back to work. Your anxiety is starting to climb.
The third major symptom is a constant tension on your stomach. It’s as if you feel this constant pressure on your stomach/upper chest. It’s not an anxiety attack, but you can still feel your stomach churning as if you’re really nervous.
What are the cures?
Although there are no long-term cures, there are some things that help alleviate some of the anxiety.
The first helper is music. Drown out the normal office sounds with your favorite MP3 player. If you can’t bring one into work, sneak in a CD or something and play it on your computer. If you can’t bring in a CD, then you might have to go for another solution.
The second helper is friends. Get to know people. Visit their cubes. Do you remember those breaks every fifteen or twenty minutes? Use this time to mingle. Get your mind off of work for a little while and then return refreshed.
The third helper is decorating. Don’t let your cube look drab. Invest in a nice chair, put up some pictures, and change the lighting. You can usually bring in your own lamps if you need to.
The fourth helper is exercise. After those excruciating days full of nothing to do, finish out the day with working out. You’ll at least feel like you accomplished something that day.
The fifth helper is to be busy. Sometimes you’ll be so busy you’ll forget about your cubicle anxiety all-together.
The sixth helper is wine. For those with really bad cubicle anxiety, a glass of wine during dinner time might alleviate some of the anxiety / stress. For those really adventurous, a lunchtime alcoholic beverage may help. Just don’t let the boss catch you snoozing.
Can you relate? Do you have your own cures? Do tell.