Many companies are making plans to have employees return to the office. But after a year of working remotely and making every effort to protect themselves from the virus, many people understandably may feel more than a bit of anxiety at the prospect of going back.
In fact, in a recent survey, more than half of the people responding expressed some discomfort about returning to the office. If you are feeling this anxiety, here are a few things you can do to cope.
Fear and anxiety often result from feeling a lack of control, and one way of increasing the feeling of control is to be more informed about the situation. In this case, it means learning as much as you can about what your company is doing to protect workers as they return.
What physical changes have been made? What new rules and guidelines will be in place? What other efforts are the company prioritizing to make returning easier for workers? Finding the answers to all of these questions should help to reduce anxiety.
1. Small steps
If returning to the office full-time all at once is upsetting, you can try doing it a little at a time, gradually increasing your time there. For example, go in for just an hour, sit in your chair, prepare your workspace. Do this for a short time and then increase the time length gradually over the course of a week or more.
2. Make a plan
Plan out ahead of time how you will handle different situations when returning. For example, determine what areas will cause the most anxiety and what you can do to improve the situation.
3. Coping methods
There are other coping methods you can use to help reduce anxiety. One is deep breathing – taking a deep breath to a count of four, holding it for a count of four, and then exhaling to a count of four. This has a very strong calming effect.
Other ways of reducing anxiety include meditation and exercise, something as simple as taking a walk.
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