After more than a year of working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are now beginning to return to their workplaces. While this may seem like a positive step towards normalcy, it can also trigger feelings of anxiety and stress. In this blog post, we will explore why returning to the workplace can cause anxiety and provide tips for managing those feelings.

Why returning to the workplace can cause anxiety

There are several reasons why returning to the workplace can cause anxiety, including:

1. Fear of COVID-19

Despite the rollout of vaccines, the fear of contracting COVID-19 is still present for many individuals. This fear can be heightened when returning to a workplace with more people and a greater risk of exposure.

2. Social anxiety

After a year of social distancing and isolation, some individuals may feel out of practice regarding social interactions, leading to increased anxiety and self-doubt in social situations.

3. Uncertainty

The pandemic has brought on great uncertainty, and returning to the workplace may exacerbate uncertainty about the future.

Tips for managing anxiety

If you’re feeling anxious about returning to the workplace, here are some tips to help you manage those feelings:

1. Practice self-care

Make time for self-care activities that help you feel relaxed and grounded. This could include yoga, meditation, or walking in nature.

2. Take it slow

Ease into the transition by gradually increasing your time in the workplace. Start with shorter or fewer days per week, and progressively work up to a full schedule.

3. Set boundaries

Set boundaries that help you manage your anxiety, such as taking breaks when needed or saying “no” to overwhelming tasks.

4. Seek support

Talk to a trusted friend or family member about your feelings, or seek professional support from a therapist or counsellor.

5. Focus on the positives.

Focus on the positive aspects of returning to the workplace, such as reconnecting with coworkers or the structure and routine of a regular work schedule.

Returning to the workplace after the pandemic can be an anxiety-provoking experience for many people. However, individuals can manage their anxiety and navigate this transition with greater ease and resilience by practicing self-care, taking it slow, setting boundaries, seeking support, and focusing on the positives.

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