Top 5 Tips for Managing Anxiety as You Return to Work Post-Pandemic
By this point, most people who had the option to work from home during the pandemic are heading back to their workplaces. While many of us are ready to get back to the real world, it can be extremely stressful to put yourself in proximity to other people whose behaviors you can’t control. You’ve done everything you can to keep yourself and your family safe during the pandemic, but you know other people haven’t been as safe. We get how stressful this situation is, and many people who visit us at Lotus Psychology Group are experiencing anxiety related to returning to their offices. In this blog, we explore the top five tips for managing anxiety as your return to work post-pandemic. If you need some help managing your anxiety, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re here to help.
1 – Stay Safe
Consult with your personal physician and create a health plan that makes sense for you. Whether that involves getting a vaccine, being tested regularly, wearing a mask, or taking other steps, to feel safe in the workplace. You can also talk through your best options with a medical professional to set yourself up for a successful and safe return to work.
2 – Express Concerns Professionally
If you’re worried about the behavior of coworkers, office cleaning and sanitation, or other aspects of your return to work environment, you can and should express these concerns to your employer and/or your human resources department promptly. However, address the situation professionally. Don’t call out coworkers directly, walk out of work, or take other steps that might jeopardize your job. It can be a high stress situation, but good employers should value your feedback and take steps to address your concerns.
3 – Take Care of Yourself
Self-care is something that most people associate with bubble baths and mud masks. Step away from the cucumber slices and fuzzy robe. Real self-care is about creating a world where you don’t need to muddle through each day until you can unwind with your glass of wine and mindless TV marathon. Self-care is about finding time in your daily schedule to do things you enjoy (whatever that looks like) as well as working in a career where you feel safe and fulfilled. If going back to the office upsets you for reasons other than fears about the pandemic, maybe it’s time to practice good self-care by making plans to find a different career path.
4 – Give Yourself a Break
If you’re struggling to get your work done because the anxiety is overwhelming, take a break. Go for a walk. Sit in your car. Go anywhere you feel safe and take a few deep breaths. In addition to taking an actual break, you should also give yourself a figurative break. Everyone is trying their best, and it’s not going to be perfect – whatever this new normal is. Do your best, and offer yourself forgiveness and grace as you figure things out.
5 – Give Your Employers & Coworkers a Break
Remember that your employer and coworkers are likely trying their best too (even if it doesn’t seem that way). Show them the same forgiveness and grace that you offer yourself.
Bonus – Talk to a Therapist
Even though it doesn’t feel like it right now, the world will start to feel safe again. If you’re having a tough time returning to work. We absolutely get where you’re coming from. Our experienced counselors are here to help, so don’t hesitate to get int ouch via email, phone, or by filling out our online contact form. We look forward to hearing from you.