The COVID-19 pandemic stay-at-home order has left many individuals working from home or out of work due to the social distancing restrictions set in place to stop the spread of the virus. Although we faced a lot of anxiety in the beginning, we slowly became accustomed to our new way of life on lockdown. As restrictions are lifting, many are heading back to the office to resume their normal work routine and facing social anxiety and the fear of uncertainty. For someone who already struggles with anxiety, the changes caused by Coronavirus may have felt like a nightmare. Thus, it makes sense that some may experience anxiety about returning to work now that many states are re-opening. Harmony Bay Wellness understands individuals still may need support, so we offer a range of mental health services.
Returning to Work after COVID-19
The anxiety related to returning to work could be due to a variety of different factors. Some may be nervous about the spread of the virus and a spike in the number of cases. For others, it is social anxiety. After being at home for an extended period and quarantined from the outside world, the fear of interacting with people again is real. Still, for others, it may be a matter of disliking their job and experiencing a deep sense of dread related to returning. It’s even normal and expected to experience some grief and loss when returning to the office. You may long for and miss the extra time you were able to spend with your family and pets and the new routine you established.
We must be patient with ourselves during this time of adjustment. Listen to your feelings, emotions, and body during this time. With careful listening, you may even experience an awakening or realization about changes you want to permanently make in your life. A therapist can help you work through these feelings and changes, so you do not have to go through it alone.
What is Anxiety?
Let’s talk about what anxiety is. According to Mayo Clinic, people with anxiety disorders frequently have intense, excessive, and persistent worry or fear about everyday situations that interfere with daily activities. These fears and feelings are hard to control and disproportionate to actual danger and can last a long time. There are various types of anxiety disorders, such as Generalized anxiety disorder, Social anxiety, Separation anxiety, and Specific phobias.
Symptoms of anxiety can vary from person to person, but the most common symptoms are:
- Feeling nervous or tense
- Feeling weak or tired
- Trouble concentrating
- Difficulty controlling worry
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Trouble sleeping
Steps to Reduce Anxiety
When returning to work, having some anxiety is natural. If you feel like your anxiety has become overwhelming, learning to manage your anxiety can allow you to live a happy and healthier life. There are several steps you can take to manage work anxiety in a post-COVID-19 world:
- Get a good night’s sleep before work – Getting enough sleep can make a difference in an individual’s mood and anxiety we experience throughout the day. Getting back into a sleep routine can help you be more productive throughout the day.
- Protect yourself and others from getting sick – Although the number of COVID-19 cases is dropping, we should remain vigilant on keeping ourselves and others safe and healthy. While you are at work, remember to wash your hands regularly, keep surfaces clean and sanitized, wear a face mask or covering, stay six feet away from others, and stay home if you are feeling sick.
- Learn breathing techniques- Breathing techniques are a great way to help reduce anxiety and can be done anywhere. Learning to breathe from your diaphragm can help lower blood pressure and help you become more mindful and feel relaxed. As little as a minute of deep breathing when you feel stressed can have.
- Make time for exercise – Exercise is proven to have a positive impact on anxiety. Exercise can elevate mood, decrease stress and tension, and improve sleep. Just 10 minutes a day can have a significant impact. If you can make it happen, a break or lunch-time walk during your workday could lead to positive change.
- Make a therapy appointment – If your anxiety feels out of control and is interfering with your life, it is time to make an appointment to talk to a therapist. Options for anxiety medications may also be explored.
Harmony Bay Wellness in Laurel Springs, New Jersey can help you regain control of your life. We have a staff of licensed and experienced therapists and psychiatrists with a range of specialties that are ready to help. To make an appointment, give us a call at 855.765.6399. Our licensed therapists are here to help you work through your fears by creating an individualized treatment plan to fit your needs.