Ep 13: How to stop dreading work – for introverts and anyone

I used to cry after vacations. I’d be sitting in the airport bathroom, in a stupor, dreading going back to work and life as usual. Not that my life or work were bad, I was just so burned out and felt trapped without knowing what to do differently.

If you can relate to this, today’s episode is for you. I break down the reasons why changing your job is almost never the solution and get to the heart of what’s really creating most of the stress and anxiety that makes work unbearable. 

When you can see what the root of your dread is, then you’re able to make gentle changes that not only make work better, but also reduce anxiety and stress in all areas of your life. 

This episode discusses both mindset and nervous system and how the relationship between them can create loops of dread and stress that lead to burnout.

I also discuss two steps to stopping dread at work that help you to see what’s going on in the big picture. These will help you to see your experience in a different way and to find the solutions that will help you feel better.


To learn more about my special Summer Integration Session coaching option, visit: heidijandel.com/summer

Listen & review: Podchaser.com/empoweredintrovert

Instagram: instagram.com/heidi.jandel

Facebook: facebook.com/hjweiland

YouTube: youtube.com/@heidijandel


Hello, my beautiful introvert friend. Welcome to episode 13. How to stop dreading work. And I am joining you today from my backyard. It is the middle of the day. And freezing. I'm all bundled up. I've got a blanket, a jacket. But I'm really trying to enjoy summer. I'm trying to get outside because it is green and beautiful. And my tree in the back, you might be able to see. It's starting to bloom some really beautiful. Pink crab, apple blossoms. So I want to stay out here as much as I can because those blossoms only last about a week. And summer just a little bit longer. So today, our episode is about dread This is something that I really connect with is a big part of my story. And my story of burnout and dreading work. And I know that other people also experience this, whether it's dreading going back to work in general, going back to a certain relationship at work, going back to the location where work is. You know, there's all kinds of as different aspects of work that we can dread. It is not fun and is something that is so worth discovering the path to change and you can really begin to change it quite simply and easily. And once you start, start doing that, start unraveling the dread it can really take you. Into a direction where we're work can feel. And alignment again, where you can feel grounded, where you can feel. Instead of anxious. All of the time. So. Let us get started. But before we do, I do want to share that this is the month of June and I am offering a special summer integration coaching package, which is a two month package for a. A very excellent price. It's about half the cost of my one-to-one coaching. And it's really designed to get laser focused on something like dread. Where you are clear on what the problem is that you want to work on. And you don't want it to summer to pass by and for everything to be the same by the time you get to September. And you want to do it in a way that fits your schedule, your busy. The vacations and whatever you've got going on, that you still want to feel like you've made a really big progress in solving this problem. You can reach out to me on. On social media or at my website. To learn more about the summer integration coaching sessions. All right with that, let us get started. No, let's start by painting the scenario. And this is a scenario that is both from my life and kind of like mixed in with some imagination and. Other other folks experiences. So. Like imagine. You're on your own vacation and. That might be like a weekend, a weekend in the woods or in a BNB. And you're just want to get away from work, right. You want to totally unplug. And when you're there. You do, it feels great. You feel grounded. You take time in nature, you do fun things. You really live like, you know, in a way that brings joy to you. And then it's Sunday night. And you're packing to go back and you're like, oh shit. Like you feel something dropping your stomach. And you're, you're just like, oh my gosh. I can't, I don't want to, like, I don't want to feel this. I don't want to. I don't want to go back to work. I don't want to go back to having to deal with my boss. I don't deal with my clients. I don't want to go back to this project that I'm working on a really like I do not like at a heat and I'm so ready for a change. You know, I, I can't stand this. And I, but I, you know, I don't know what to do. And. So on and so forth, right? There's this spiral that kind of happens. And. When you feel like shit, right? You feel dread. You feel. Worry, you feel overwhelmed, you feel anxiety for sure. Anxiety is kind of an umbrella word for the, for a lot of different feelings. And you might feel grief. He might feel frustration and anger. Some of these more fiery emotions. And I mean, it didn't, it just does not feel good. So. What happens? You end up. You know, you're packing and you're maybe you're crying like me or used to like go cry. And then the airport bathroom. And complain to whoever I was with to my partner, to my friends. There's this. Like, you know, What do you call it? Not debriefing, but just borrowing someone's ear, as you say, in Portuguese. And Andy. And thinking a lot about work. Really like your brain is totally there. In dread. And yet your time you. You're doing all your stuff and then you get home and. Maybe you have a hard time sleeping. You wake up in the middle of night. You wake up in the morning and your brain is immediately like in dreads, like, oh no. It's Monday morning. No, I have to go. And. Then you go to work and then, you know, the emails happen. The project happens. You see that person. And then you get like another trigger. And then you really like live into what you were dreading and experience it like in the, in, in your body. And kind of prove to yourself that, yeah, this is my work socks. So. If you've ever felt that I have definitely felt that. And Yeah, it's not a fun place to be. Along with it. It can cut there. You know, there can be a sense of guilt of like, you know, I shouldn't, I shouldn't feel this way. This is actually really good. And yeah. You know, here I am. So. What happens oftentimes is that when we're in a situation like this, like we want to change it. You don't want to feel dragged. You don't want to feel anxious about your work. You hear all of this? Lovely, lovely Instagram posts about. You know, I've living in alignment with your purpose and work as, as your purpose. It's something that I talk about work as being an extension of, of you. Of what you're meant to do here. And that can make you feel even worse. So. But then you're like, okay, well then if this work isn't doing it, If then I should change work. Like, maybe I should change jobs. So you end up looking for jobs or even career. So then you end up spending a lot of time imagining a career. Change and researching what it would take to go back to school or. A coat or something else that sounds really fun. And artists. You end up focusing a lot on these external solutions. So. So I want to pause there. For a moment. And then just reorient ourselves again. So I've just gone through. Scenario a story that when you connect with it, It feels. Very. All con encompassing and true and very, very important. And you know, very clear that the job is like you would, when you're on vacation, you feel great. So when you're. It's a job and you don't feel great. It must be your job. And that's changing your job is the right solution. So. We weren't looking for the quote unquote right. Solution or the answer to the name of this podcast, how to stop dreading your work. We want to step back and first of all, see it from a more neutral, distant perspective where. You know, what is really creating the stress we want to get really curious before you invest. Your time, your money, your life into changing your job and careers. Like making these steps that could really consume many years for you. And, you know, and I do believe that. Like you can make anything work like there, everything has, has value to it, but. What. Like when we stopped to look at what's going on. So we've got the job. And then there is you. In the job. Right. So. The job itself. Is the environment is your it's your situation? And stress re three. It's definitely true. That certain environments create stress. You know, if you have too many rats in a small space, for example, they are going to feel in this stress of the environment and it's going to change their behavior. You're their nervous systems are going to go into stress responses. So. So while. Environmental stress might be happening for you. And in the environment includes relationships that include your projects that include your clients. Most of the time. That only accounts for a small percentage of where the stress is coming from. So let's say it's 10%. So if 10% of your stress is only coming from. Your job. Where is the rest coming from? What else is in the scenario? Yup. So you. Fewer to pause and. Just assume that only 10% of my stress is actually coming from my situation. So then. Ask yourself. This is step one to how to stop treading work. It's the get really curious and ask yourself what part of this is? Like if. Would any human being, no matter who they are be in the situation and feel the same level of track. With me from five years ago, feel this stress in check. Would me from a year ago, feel the stress and drive. And this is so, so important because if you use the solution of changing your job without seeing what part of it that you own. All of the habits and ways of showing up that you are currently experiencing will come with you. You can change jobs, you can get relocated, right. And you can reduce the environmental stress. But the patterns that created all of the internal stress will continue with you. And you don't want that, right? Because what you want is to feel more like that lightness of being on vacation. That grounded, this, that connection to other people and to solve. So if you're able to. Reflect on what is mine? And just open up to, to the possibility that a lot of this stress and dread is coming from. Within you. Then. You can focus on. Figuring that out. So if you think about, so you as a human being, let's just imagine for a moment that instead of a human being, you are. A robot. So there is this robot that, you know, The kind of looked like you, they got your name. Awesome. The Heidi robot or the Jennie robot. And they are, they have this programming where they, they say to themselves things like I don't like this job. I don't like this person. I don't like this project. I hate this. I don't like the way this feels. I don't want to do this. And they say this to themselves. You know, Like every hour, maybe for 10 minutes, maybe. Furthermore, definitely every day, day after day after day. And they go interact with another robot and they tell that robot that I don't want to do this. I hate this. I feel so stuck. And then they tell it to another robot. And so. Then. When they say those things and let's imagine these are advanced robots that had feelings, then they feel. Dread then they feel. Stuck and distraught. So. We're not robots, but that's what we do. Right. Can you see how, when we. Say things like that to ourselves. We really create the very feelings that we don't want to be experiencing. And that there. Is very little benefit to repeating these things. And yet it seems like you're just describing the way that our life is. But when we do that, when we describe it in that way, we create the exact feelings. That we don't want to have. And our nervous systems, the. Our sense of safety. Our sense of stress respond to the way that we think. The way that you think. So when you're thinking that, you know, this is not a place that I want to be your body. We'll then feel that way. It'll feel the dreidel feel the resistance at all. It'll feel the anxiety. And when you feel anxiety. Do you feel these feelings? It. Creates this feedback loop where your brain then sees that. It was like, oh, look at that. Like, That is proof that I am. Unsafe that I am in a situation that is unhealthy. That is. That is stressful. And then it just keeps looping and looping and looping. So step one. It's really getting curious as to what this process looks like for you. How are you looping? What are the thoughts that you are feeding yourself that you've programmed your robot self with? And what feelings do those create when you feel those feelings? How does it affect how you show up? Step two, is that. So, what we just talked about was essentially mindset. Step two. Is your nervous system and your relationship to yourself. Because often what happens when we are not feeling connected to ourselves. When they're not feeling grounded. That it becomes much easier for feelings of stress and the thoughts that go along with them, the anxiety, anxious, thoughts to arise. This is why on vacation. We feel good. We're prioritizing fun. We are relaxing or taking care of ourselves. We are living in a way that is nourishing. So when we live our daily lives in a way that is extractive. And exhausting. And I'm on the way to burnout. It is very normal to find yourself in a place where you feel. Dread and overwhelm. So. Then finding ways to cultivate this vacation, the way of being, or a more grounded way of B. Is also heart of the solution to stop driving work because when you are having joy, In your life. It becomes so much easier to experience the challenges of a relationship at work of your projects. It becomes so much easier for you to notice. You're anxious thoughts. And pause. And allow yourself to come back to yourself. I have. And another episode. I can't remember which one it is, but it's got practices it's earlier, maybe it's episode six. Around there with practices to help you do this. There's tons of them. But like really just having a few core practices that you can use. To create a sense of groundedness. Which is also, you. Just reduce your anxiety. Is going to be incredibly helpful. But not just as a, an emergency. Emergency strategy. But as a consistent practice, where for example, every morning you're waking up and you're meditating. Instead of freaking out about your emails. Right. When you make that your way of being. When you live your day-to-day life in a way that nourishes you, it fills you up. So that at the end, you're not exhausted. That right there is going to go miles. Miles to creating better work. All right. So to sum up. The two parts of stop, dirty work. First to look at your mindset and oh, Own. The thoughts that are creating all of this dread. Own the part of it that is yours. See that the circumstance that your work, the situation there. That it only feels bad because of how you're showing up. To it. And that you in a different state. That a different person would have a different experience. So what is it that you can change with Ian? You. So that you have a different experience. And the second part. Is looking at. At your self care and your groundedness and your stress levels, even before you go to work. In your daily life. Do you have. Rhythm. That helps you too. To maintain. Calm and confidence so that when you go into stressful situations at work, you are more resilient and you're less active. It becomes less alarming and triggering because you know that you, you know, you'll feel connected, feel relaxed. You can let go, stop thinking about it. When you go home for the day. When you combine these two, you can make really true, profound changes in your life and you work in your relationships. Without needing to change any of it outside of you. It all comes from within it's. So. When you can unlock. Ways of thinking and habits that support you to be. You're calm. Courageous. Aligned self you can. Not just. With Stan stressful situations, but you can create. Beautiful things in your work in your life. Show up in a way where instead of being in survival mode, you're in thrive mode. You can expand, you can explore. In your introvert way. All right, my friend, thank you so much for tuning in. And I'd love to hear. How this resonated for you. If you have any personal experience with dread. And if you put any of these these steps into practice, I'd love to hear how it's going for you. All right. Take care. And I will see you next time.