back to work anxiety

Coping with back to work anxiety

In the last few months, we have all been dealing with difficult times and heightened uncertainty. As some restrictions of the lockdown are eased for now, we may also be facing anxiety or fears about returning to work. Psychologist Kanika Shah of Nimai Healthcare suggests a few tips to help you cope with back to work anxiety.

Overcome anxiety by taking stock of things you can control

In most situations that we face, there are factors we can control and some that are beyond our control. So, even with going back to work, focus on identifying what aspects you have control over and taking action there. It can be as simple as making sure you are following safety protocols such as social distancing, sanitising and wearing a mask. This could possibly help combat some worries or helplessness that might arise.

Tips to help you cope better with back to work anxiety

Apart from taking stock of what you can control and following safety protocols, you will also have to adjust to the ‘new normal’ in office. Here’s how you can go about it.

  • Communicate your concerns to your employer or manager 

Knowing how the workspace is being adapted to the situation and what is expected of you can be helpful. Having such useful information can again help combat worries that are arising.

  • Allow yourself time to ease into the new work routine or set up

Adjusting to a new routine can take time. So, allow yourself a gradual adjustment if you have the space to, so, that you don’t feel too overwhelmed all at once. Moderating your expectations can also be helpful.

  • Try and follow a consistent routine outside work

Try and build consistency in your routine outside of work as well, since that can be a source of stability and comfort for us. Doing pleasurable and relaxing activities before and post work can be helpful in stress management.

  • Be patient

It is only natural to experience some degree of distress and worry in this difficult scenario as our brain can tend to view moving out of the house as a potential risk. Hence, most importantly, be kind and patient with yourself as far as possible as you undertake this new task.

  • Seek support and help if needed

Connect with others if that’s helpful and also reach out for professional help if the anxiety feels unmanageable and disruptive.