With many workplaces opening up and attempting a return to some form of normality, it’s only normal to be feeling apprehensive.
We have all experienced COVID-19 enforced changes recently, and it is okay to be nervous about the unknown of returning to a different kind of normal. But it’s important not to let your feelings consume you or cause out of character behaviour.
So, what can you do to combat these negative or nervous feelings? Here are a few tips:
- Ask yourself what it is that is making you feel this way. Is it a fear of contracting COVID-19? Analysing your concerns can make them seem less overwhelming, and help you to form a solution.
- Learn the facts and plan your transitioned return. Because of COVID-19 employers have had no choice but to increase two-way communications with employees, so your concerns will most likely be met with understanding and flexibility. You can make it easier on your employer by providing a solution/ proposal to your concerns, rather than just present them with a problem.
- Don’t let your feeling take control of you. Take back control of the things you can control, like;
- Self-care, hygiene practices, social distancing, etc.
- Plan and structure your day so that you don’t have time to overthink.
- Make time for me time. Mental health matters and can be impacted by mental and physical stressors. Eat a healthy balanced diet, regularly exercise, and practice mindfulness to help improve your mental health.
- Talk about it. Whether it be a friend, family member or a professional, voicing your concerns can help put things into perspective and help you to draw on your coping skills to face your fears.
Just remember, you’re not alone. COVID-19 and all it’s enforced changes are unprecedented, and many of us are feeling the same way.
If your anxiety about returning to work is unmanageable on your own, please seek professional assistance. Most workplaces have EAP services available to employees that are there for a reason, so use them. You don’t have to go through it on your own, and there is no shame admitting that you’re struggling – we all do at times.
Written by Lorraine Sindel