Reducing Anxiety around Returning to Work Following Covid-19

1Returning to work following the Covid-19 crisis may become challenging for many individuals. Having to break a specific routine, or leaving the comfort of your own home where you may feel safe, may be a catalyst for extreme anxiety or fear. Here you will find a few tips on how to reduce your anxiety over returning to work.

  • Continue to take preventive measures to protect yourself and others: If you find that much of your anxiety revolves around your fears of contracting the virus, to help put your mind at ease, you can practice certain CDC suggested necessary precautions such as:
  1. Maintaining the suggested distance of six feet apart from others
  2. Continuing to wash your hands and not touching your face can help to improve your chances of not contracting or spreading the virus.
  3. Wiping down your work area regularly.
  • Be Present: Often times we find ourselves experiencing anxiety over things that have yet to happen, and may not happen at all, staying in the moment, and making the best of the present can keep us out of the state of fear that has the power to take over our sense of peace.
  • Acceptance: One of the surefire ways to help decrease our anxiety around a situation is by accepting the part of that situation that we have no control over. It is not always an easy process, but when we become mindful of the role we play in our own anxieties, then we began to realize we do have control over how we may allow them to affect us. For instance, accepting that change is a natural part of life can help you to manage or reduce your anxiety surrounding any given situation.
  • Develop positive connection with your co-workers: Though it has been difficult to maintain physical connections over the past few months, most people have become well acquainted with connecting from a distance through technology. Now that the world has begun to move again, it is still important to maintain those connections the best way we know how.

Things like sharing our concerns, providing encouragement and support to others, and continuing to work as a team can help to improve not only your anxiety about the situation, but also the fears of those you work closest to.

  • Change how you’re thinking about the situation: When it comes to addressing our emotions, one thing to pay attention to is our thoughts. Thoughts have the power to govern our emotions, so taking the time to identify our negative thoughts gives us an opportunity to stop the thought, calm ourselves, and then redirect the thought to something positive, thus reducing our levels of anxiety.
  • Maintain a good level of self-care: There are a variety of ways to practice self-care, some of these ways may include:
  1. Maintaining healthy eating habits.
  2. Keeping a regular fitness regimen.
  3. Using calming methods such as mindfulness and meditation throughout your day, even if it’s only for a couple of minutes a day.
  4. Taking salt baths 2-3 times per week.
  5. Positive self-talk.

The workplace may not be the appropriate environment to practice all of these tips. However, you can take mindfulness with you anywhere you go.

If you find that you are still struggling, it may be helpful for you to talk to your therapist, or reach out to see what your options may be through your Capital EAP program at (518) 462-6531.

 

By, Ashley R. Vazquez, MBA, MFT, EAP Counselor