Top 10 Anxiety-Friendly Jobs
If you're an anxious person, working at a job that's anxiety-friendly can be a huge benefit to your life. So many people with anxiety disorders struggle with work because of the difficulty of social interaction and other job stressors. Work is anxiety-provoking for everybody to some degree, but, if you have anxiety, anxiety at work can be truly hellish. That's why it's important that us anxious types find jobs that take our anxiety into account. This week, we'll explore 10 of the most anxiety-friendly jobs out there.
I'm writing this post as much for me as anything because I currently don't have a job that's anxiety-friendly. I work as a cashier in a grocery store, and my anxiety is completely through the roof because of it sometimes. Fortunately, I have a great boss and good co-workers, and most of the customers are nice, too. Still, the anxiety of having to cope with the vagaries of the general public can be really intense. I used to have an anxiety-friendly job (it's in the list below) that I'm hoping to get back to fairly soon.
Criteria for Jobs That Are Anxiety-Friendly
A job must meet certain criteria to be considered anxiety-friendly. Although there are obviously no hard and fast rules about this, most anxious people find common work stressors unpleasant, so good jobs for anxious people must either not have those stressors, or must only have a minimal amount of them. Here are some important criteria:
- Low levels of stress -- Most anxious people (including me) don't do well in intense, high-pressure environments, so low to moderately stressful jobs are a better fit if you have anxiety.
- Low noise levels -- I find loud noise very stressful. It's a total trigger for my anxiety, and I'd guess most of you are with me on this one. So, good jobs for anxious people must take their noise sensitivity into account.
- Few interruptions/distractions -- I'm not a very good multi-tasker. I get overwhelmed easily when there's too much going on, so an anxiety-friendly job for me must allow me to stay mostly on one task without interruption.
- Limited interaction with other people -- Constant interaction is the thing that's most stressful about my current job. It's non-stop, and it really gets to me some days. This is especially true for people with social anxiety disorder, so an anxiety-friendly job must keep the interaction with bosses, customers, and co-workers to a minimum.
List of the Top 10 Anxiety-Friendly Jobs
- Writer -- Writing tends to be a great job for anxious people, although it can be hard to make money doing it at first. Blogging and technical writing may be good places to start if you're interested in writing for a living.
- Childcare worker -- Yes, working with kids involves lots of noise and interaction, but dealing with children is less intimidating than dealing with adults.
- Computer programmer -- I did computer programming full time for over 10 years. It's great because it meets all of the anxiety-friendly job criteria, plus you can make good money doing it.
- Working with animals -- Much like working with kids, working with animals is less intimidating than many jobs because adult interaction is minimized. Plus, animals can be very soothing and provide an opportunity to give nurturing care to another living creature.
- Cleaning offices -- I also worked as a house and office cleaner for many years. Office cleaning tends to be done at night and by yourself. It's a very anxiety-friendly job for someone who's looking for solitude and quiet.
- Tutoring -- Working as a tutor generally limits your interaction to one person, and, for the most part, tutoring is studious and quiet.
- Nurse's aide -- Healthcare can be a very stressful job, but working as a nurse's aide rarely involves life and death decisions. Mostly, it entails simple, physical labor, and, if you can get hired for the night shift, it can be very quiet as well.
- Counselor -- Counseling is a profession that involves a lot of interaction, but it's usually only with one person at a time. In some ways, anxiety sufferers make good counselors because they tend to be more empathetic to the pain of others. Counseling involves a lot of talking and tends to be fairly low-key.
- Prep cook -- Prep cooks work mostly in the background doing the grunt work of food preparation. Making salads, cooking vats of spaghetti sauce, and prepping large numbers of fruit baskets are typical tasks for a prep cook. You work mostly by yourself, and interaction with other people is limited.
- Landscaping -- I also worked as a landscaper in my youth, and it's a good job for someone with anxiety. It's hard, physical labor, but there are long stretches of uninterrupted, relatively mindless activity. There's something to be said for working a job that lets you turn your brain mostly off.
While working and holding down a job can be really hard if you have an anxiety disorder, it's doable if you can find a job that's the right fit. Hopefully, this list of anxiety-friendly jobs will inspire you to go after a job that's a better fit for you.
Weber, G. (2015, May 6). Top 10 Anxiety-Friendly Jobs, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, September 24 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/treatinganxiety/2015/05/top-10-anxiety-friendly-jobs
Author: Greg Weber
Has anyone ever noticed how these "professionals" always suggest a job that actually requires you to get a degree at a college for that profession.... Well if I can't get out and get a job in the public sector what on earth makes anyone think I can go to a school (where there's alot of people) to get a degree to get that job.... And no you can't say online courses cause alot of colleges even online requires a certain amount of "classroom" time.
No matter how anyone looks at it the people with anxiety are always on the losing side. And these "pros" don't know a thing of what they are talking about and that's what really annoys me.
You'd figure with anxiety being a popular illness there'd be more respect along the way of employing these people into a comfortable environment. Face your fears eh.... Ok so let's make those with fear of spiders work with tarantulas all day everyday, or lets make those with fear of heights work cleaning the outside of windows of very tall buildings.... It's the same thing a phobia is a phobia and not everyone has the mental power to overcome theirs.
Bottomline is unless you have real answers to a problem don't suggest anything.
As someone who has anxiety and has burnt out and mentally broke down from 2 of those suggestions, I want to know where you get your info and also to stop stereotyping childcare providers!
In 2016 I had my burn out/ break down and I had only been professional working as a Pastor/Councellor and an Early Learning Child care Provider (or as the world sees us professional babysitters) for 10 years. Before that it was all voluntary.
What you need to remember is for people with empathetic personalities like me not only will they want to work they will probably have friends and family on the side they are helping and empathizing with as well.
Now onto the part that is frustrating. There is a Nanny/Private Homecare provider that typically (unless it is a really big family) who has maybe most cases no more than 3 kids to watch and is in the home setting.
Then there are private dayhomes who are the professional babysitters as well they can choose how many kids they want to take and because they are not under a licence they don’t have to follow any professional rules (which makes us professionals have a bad rap the way we do)
Then there is the Dayhome Professional who if they are up to government standards has to have certain things in the home has to teach certain things but can only have 3-6 children max per adult depending on age and they are considered teachers.
Then you have the Licenced Childcare centres/daycare/preschool/kindergarten/Eli/after and before school care, our centres go under many names but I think you get the picture. We are all licenced Teachers/Providers by the owner of the centre. When we graduate from our programs in college we have to send out the certificate/diploma/degree whichever level you received so you can have a licenced number in order to teach, if you do not have that you are not allowed to be at the centres even if you are a casual, a kitchen staff or custodian. If you are going to be providing care or count as a staff to be in the room with the kids you need that paper and a number.... therefore we are teachers and not just a babysitter
To own a centre or be a head teacher and run one you need to go through 2 years of college at least and be able to handle programming, licensing, accreditation, pr, hr, the parent, all the staff, and run your own classroom of kids.
So please don’t tell me that childcare is not a stressful job, I went home in tears almost every night because at that time I wasn’t properly diagnosed or on the right medication.
Same with counselling it depends on the situation mine involved kids,teens, families, adults, seniors that were badly hurt by something that should have never happened, teens that were kicked out of their homes at Christmas and left on the streets, families that were lied to by the one person they should have been able to trust, teens that broke the law and you had to help them deal with the bad circumstances. Seniors who are losing their loved ones and you have to sit beside them for 72 hours as they grieve. Although I know my situation may be a little different being a pastor, it’s still not an easy job to do. It gets tiring, exhausting, stressful as you decide what the best course of action is because not everything is black and white.
I truly do not believe we are all mentally ill. We live in an insane unnatural world.
I can understand why people think working with animals will be a stress-free job. They have ideas of playing and fussing animals all day. From working in the industry for 7 years I can tell you it is far from it. It's not the animals its the people. Whether it is management bullying or sapping the fun out of the job, from clients being ridiculously picky/ arugmentative, to just the moral concepts of welfare and husbandry. You are consently questioning am i doing a good job? As much as I have a deep love for animals I've decided to quit. It is a 24/7, 365 job, with very little pay and very little appreication for what hard labour you do.
I have to say I totally agree and understand this very much I started at a private veterinarian office and was there about 7 years and it was living hell because after about 3 years I became the office manager and it was okay for a while but my heart would go into my stomach everytime I seen the practice manager who in turn was the wife of the doctor and she was very cruel she would make you cry then laugh at you but anyways I left there and went to work at animal shelter in the surgery room mainly the prep room and did reception for the wellness clinic 2 days a week and it was like high school people smiling in face and talking about you behind your back and I know you don't go to work make friends but level of back stabbing was to much also euthanizing 10-20 cats a nights a night was a nightmare because people dont get there animals spayed and neutered but my point is I think working with animals is great but for people with anxiety I would say maybe a pet store cleaning the cages and bathing the puppies would be a better fit because its constantly changing and loud and very stressful working a veterinarians
I seriously disagree with the counselor suggestion. You are seeing people, one after another, all day long who have their own anxieties, depression, trauma, phobias, etc. and god forbid there is a crisis such as someone becoming suicidal or having to report child abuse.
Yep! I am a professional nanny, and it is a great fit for my personality. Of course there can be stress, but working in the comfort of a home and being able to go to parks, libraries, etc. and working long term with one family are awesome perks.
I would say that child care is extremely stressful. There is a lot that goes into child care, like, lesson planning, prepping lesson plans, following regulations, making sure you are on top of everything - especially safety hazards. It's not easy. Definitely stressful.
Thanks, and I wish guidance counselors covered this with students. Working with our strengths and protecting our "weaknesses" is important when job hunting. Avoid office jobs unless it's just data entry-the interruptions, type A bossy egos, and sudden deadlines give me "nerves" daily. Going into counselor job soon I hope.
Nurse aide is possibly one of the most stressful jobs ever. Even on nights, nights you have rounds, waking people who don't want woke up, who are cranky kuz they keep getting woke up, and some of them yell at you. Some of them are combative. I was being strangled by one resident and you can't fight back, only yell for help. In the daytime you have family to deal with. Plus the nurses and some nurses are great, but some are not easy to get along with. Then you have state that comes in to inspect. They ask you trick questions. And if for whatever reason if you don't do the right required thing. You can loose your certification, be fined or even face jail time. Anxiety free... Not even close!
If you work for an agency where you go into private homes you do not have as much stress.
Oh my god, I had to comment because computer programming is probably one of the most anxiety inducing jobs in existence. Imagine getting called at 2am in the night on a saturday about a bug somewhere in the 2 million lines of code that, if it goes unresolved, will cost your company millions of dollars.
That is the "anxiety free" reality of computer programming
Babysitting.. I babysat for 2 years and trust and believe that i was going more nuts then i already am.
I had a baby crying all day while the other 3 ran and jumped screamed all day.
If you do a private duty job or a sitter position it can be more low key.
Your ideas are great! I've done a few of them and they do work. My problem has other health issues. I can't do heavy lifting. I can't sit or stand for long stretches (need to have variety), and the options are limited where I live. Wish my husband could get a decent paying job so I could just not worry about it anymore.
It's STRESSFUL reading the comments section here where everyone is tearing this article apart.
To Stressed Out NYC- Amen! I couldn't agree more!
Seriously? Nurse aide? No way. I worked as one for 4 years and it is the most stressful and social job I've had. Besides working with residents, you have to deal with family, other aides, LPNs, RNs, shift supervisors, ect. No. This is the worst job you could have if you have any type of anxiety.
Nurses Aide does NOT belong here. And if you simply mutter the word "quiet" under your breath while working a night shift in a facility, you will be condemned. Bad bad bad. Being a CNA is anything BUT calming, even on nights. The buzzer from the call lights going off, people with dementia wondering around, possibly becoming combative, some have behaviors that make them yell your name repeatedly.....not everyone sleeps just because it's night time.
Be careful about the working with animals suggestion. If you work with dogs they are loud and many are high energy or can be aggressive. Big dogs are especially hard to manage. Its loud and smelly. Its a lot of responsibility. I do not feel the calming effects of the animals at all.
Obviously each job in this list can't apply to everyone with anxiety. And every job with have stressors no matter what, to each individual for different reasons
I love working with my babies and toddlers but certain coworkers make it a stressful place to be:(
I have been struggling and wondering how people keep jobs, I mean I have hAd this job three years but I have had anxiety attacks, nauseated and diarrhea from nerves. Sometimes just smells can send me to the bathroom. I just wish I could be a stay at home mom again.
Office cleaners are often looked down upon staff, and too boot they trash the building making it more work. I don't think you people did your research very well.
Thanx for posting this!? I have had a very difficult time getting a job due to my extreme social anxiety disorder. I thought I'd try the animal kennel cleaning because it is low stress, no people around, and I love animals. It was extremely stressful to go thru the interview process but it was quick and painless and I actually got hired. However I couldn't sleep a wink that night before my first day of work and I ended up calling them and telling them I got a better job offer, obviously a lie. I felt so hopeless and it is difficult not being to pitch in financially around the house. I feel worthless. I would like to try getting a job at a childcare place but I haven't worked in so many years I feel they would pass me up. Anyway I guess I have some comfort in knowing others have SAD but I feel so alone.
Hi you are not alone with this many people suffer anxiety as well as myself. Talking is great therapy as it finds the root of the cause of what brought on the anxiety and to try and minimize it. I would say the time my anxiety is the challenged the most is at work and it is the social side of things that I struggle with the most. I find it difficult to be open with people and worry they will not like me or I say the wrong thing or always feel I don't fit in. It's all in the mind though and I know that it is just learning how to control it and push passed that. Find your passion and seek advice on how to achieve and manage anxiety on the way :-)
The great thing is you got out there and tried. There are a couple ways you could go if you wanted to try childcare. You could try setting up a dayhome in your home and picking and choosing who you watch and it’s in the comfort of your home, another way is to start as a casual/sub every centre looks for them, that way they will call you and if you are having a good day you can tell them yes and go in, and if it sets you off just getting the call you can say no.
One other option is sometimes centres have a person that comes in to cover breaks so you would bounce from classroom to classroom relieving staff so your never in one place too long and most of it happens during lunch and nap times so it’s the quieter time of the day.
I hope that helps.
I know I was one to say that childcare can be stressful but there are ways around it if you are not looking to run something and just want to have baby cuddles.
We need just as many of you as we need of me!
Just touching an animal, especially a dog, is so calming to me. if you love animals, this is one of the greatest comforts for those who battle anxiety. I have also found that being with children and the elderly are calming for me as well.
Mental health illnasese can be tolaly different even though some of the symptoms are completely the same
some of this list maybe wrong.
computer programmer is very stressfull jobs.
you'll be pushed by client, everytime.....except you code for yourself...
This list is obnoxious at best. The author DID NOT interview PTSD sufferers to create this list. There is no credibility here. I would flip out if I had to take care of dogs or children -- high stress, offensive odors, lots of noise (if you walk a dog, you have lots of street noise). I just think this list is ridiculous and what is sad is that there are lots of people who don't know how to access scholarly sources, so they come across articles like this while trying to help friends and they end up making a mess of their friendships by trusting an author like this who clearly has no idea what he's talking about. Sick of irresponsible authors just putting up content for the sake of traffic. #Sad
Maybe you should write your own then. You sound way too mad at this for no reason.
This list was intended for anxiety not PTSD and while they can be similar they are completely different mental illnesses.
Yeah Im kinda confused. As Lilli said, this was for Anxiety anyways, not PTSD.
I am currently in my second summer as a childcare worker and I can tell you right now that this position does not belong on this list. Childcare is a high stress job as you are constantly dealing with children that do not know how to listen and overprotective parents. I come home at night and I'm already stressed just thinking about the next day.
This list is not correct. Child care, Prep Cook, Nurses Aide, and Animal worker are all HIGHLY stressful positions. The shrill pitch of children's voices, the constant chatter of pedantic want and question, the germs... Nurses Aides listening to Alzheimer's patients and other dementia patients screaming at night and night terrors and the smells of urine and decay... Prep cook being hounded by the Chef and management and the barking of orders and the clatter of pans and the heat and damp and NOISE and stench! And working with Animals? Are you kidding me? The odors and the barking and the yelping and the fleas and allergies... NONE of these environments are healthy for someone with anxiety - not even close.
Wow, when you are getting better info things start making sense. I always thought I'm generally an unhappy human being,especially when I'm alone because I cry myself to sleep. I recently discovered I'm have anxiety disorder but for years I wondered why I get so scared to a point my heart is racing more than usual when I have a monthly meeting I have to present in. Its hard but every time I challenge myself and trust me when I say its really hard because it constantly feels like the first time every time. The worse part is, in my situation, no one understands the fears, the constant worries, the now and again tears and the self house arrest. If I could take the child care worker I would, because I love kids but its way late now. Wish I knew all of these before choosing a career. Thanks for the share anyway, the struggle continues.
Nurses Aide is a very stressful, anxiety-inducing profession with high work loads and comparatively low pay. Not to mention chronic underrappreciation. Better choice would be to work as an imaging tech or lab tech.
help! Im a 17 year old with really bad anxiety. my family is pressuring me to get a job but i don't know where to start.
I am a night shift CNA and believe me is is stressful!! Residents do not sleep at night as people tend to think. The tasks are not easy by no means. You are pulled in all directions, lots of noise and people interaction and stress. This job should not be on your low anxiety list! I have anxiety and social anxiety so I know what this job does to me. Thankfully I'm on the right medication and I can cope most of the time.
I am 66 yr. old and have had anxiety disorder with associated agoraphobia... I live a very lonely, isolated and difficult life. I told some employers about my condition, but, mostly I was terminated for being honest. How do you come out without ramifications and stigma.
I also suffer from long term depression and anxiety since childhood and was really grateful to find the article. It was interesting to get someone else's take on it and be reminded that many others also struggle to work. I dont know if I will ever get over it, but its good to see there are people trying to find solutions. I am slightly sad to hear some of the critical and discouraging comments about what is and isn't appropriate. Yes we need to be realistic and accept that any list is always debateable, but as was pointed out in the article, there are no hard and fast rules to anxiety. For many people it often involves fear of rejection or failure, as well as difficulty believing in oneself and coping with criticism, so it is a courageous thing to put yourself out there as a writer on a topic so personal. Trying to help others by publically sharing your own experiences is really brave, and I can only imagine how it feels to have your attempts slated and picked apart by others. We are all bound to have different triggers as anxiety can be caused by many things, so to criticise someone's perspective is a slightly pointless activity. We ought to be treating each other with the same respect and sensitivity we hope to get from the rest of the world. People who don't understand are difficult to deal with as it is, lets not make life harder for each other. I am an actor myself and find it a surprisingly low anxiety job, though I can appreciate it would be the opposite for most people! Being on stage gives me energy and makes me feel focussed instead of worrying all the time. Generally it is also helpful to become a totally different person for a bit! Until recently I was fairly confident in the job but still suffered with anxiety off stage, meeting new people or auditioning for big roles. Mostly because I am scared I might get things wrong or be criticised. Personally cant think of a single 'normal' job that doesn't bring me anxiety, but ideally ones with very few hours per day as I get so tired. I am self employed and find this easier than working for others as I cant cope with the pressure and early mornings. you do have to stay organised and work without anyone helping you though, so its not perfect. I don't make enough money to cover rent either so need another part time job. I agree working with animals would be amazing too, as long as they didnt die! I get way too attached. I assumed jobs with animals would be more qualification based but might actually look into local catteries. You can also sign up to be an animal sitter for when people go on holiday. Its not a money maker but certainly reduces social interaction!
Iv been suffering with anxiety for a long time to the point were I feel like I can't keep a job a fear at failing handeling cash is one of my anxiety I know I can do it but once as I start I feel the customer staring at me or my manger watching me and all of a sudden I feel a rush of panic I just don't wanna mess up and it makes me crazy I started a job as a cashier at store in the mall I decided I'm going to face my fear of the register I did have a little anxiety but kept pushing my self but what's gotten me down is the fact that the manger said I'm not learning the register fast enough and I thought me taking my time will help me learn everything I need to learn and it has help but they cut my hours and iv only been working two days out of the week the train sucked and had left me worrying that they must not like me or they think I will slow them down iv been stressing over it and not being able to sleep I'm just trying to find my way I'm 24 and also I can't drive I get so nervous that I mite hit someone I even have dreams about it I just want to get over my fear of driving and being able to hold a job down I feel like a loser like there something really wrong with me my brothers have great jobs and nice cars popular and I'm just none of those things even my mom works at a great company making good money and very popular at her work place I don't know why I'm nothing like them i get deppresed knowing I have these two kids and can't drive or hold a job down thankfully my mom helps me but I want to be able to things on my own with out help or just to be able to drive I try to act like I'm okay but deep inside I'm losing my mind im trying to push my self more and continue to work on myself it's very hard and my mind wants to say you can't do it why even try but I have to or I will always be stuck
Tia, I apologize for the delayed response. I am a new writer at HealthyPlace and in responding to comments saw yours. I would encourage you to seek professional help in your area. Negative self-talk can really drag us down. One of the key tools I use to manage is tapping. I will be writing a post on this soon, but a simple version of how to do this would be to take a few fingers and tap just below your collarbone. While doing this, you would repeat a phrase like, "Even though I feel anxious right now, I fully accept myself." It could also be "even if I feel like a failure", "even if I feel depressed", etc. This simple tool can help some people to refocus their attention and practice self-acceptance, even when we're challenged. I hope things have gotten better since you posted.
I guess it doesn't help in finding a low anxiety job if all you've attained was a GED :/
Honestly, the responses about anxiety and jobs I have somewhat romanticized are helping me. I had a case of "the grass may be less anxiety-causing on the other side of the career fence." I love my job when I can control my fears. I guess I need to work on developing strategies/seeing a counselor to help me develop strategies for coping with career-related anxiety.
I have to laugh reading that childcare is on this list. I worked for 6 years in childcare and I can guarantee it is a highly stress job. I agree with Heather. It should be taken off the list. It is one of the toughest jobs there is.
I can totally relate to all of this right now. Also, I am so thankful for the list of ideal jobs you provided on this page. It gives me some sort of idea how to proceed going forward. I quit my first job at Wendy's tonight because I literally cannot handle the stress of it because of my anxiety/social anxiety disorder. Combine that with noise and a fast pace, and it was a recipe for complete disaster.
The problem is that the world does not care so much about a very real problem for me. I need money desperately, but I also need to take care of my mental health before I can accomplish anything.
Does anyone know if Goodwill offers career counseling or any other organization that does that nationwide? I feel that I might be able to get some perspective if I have a goal to aim for, you know?
Hi, Casey. State Workforce Commissions often offer training and assistance for job seekers. You may want to look into that.
I've been doing home care for the past 10 yrs. I've been taking care of an Alzheimer patient for almost 3 yrs. It's very stressful, mentally & physically draining. I suffer from anxiety. I'm thinking of going back into the Corporate world doing accounts payable which I have experience of 20 yrs. I miss socializing & taking to people instead of being trapped in a house. My anxiety has been getting worse due to my job. I know there's no perfect job. I feel stuck in a rut. Any advice?