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5 Easy Ways to Cope with Back-To-Work Anxiety…

Looking back on pre-COVID life, the prospect of a year out-of-office would have been a mere fantasy for the best of us… but here we now find ourselves one year on and a few hundred not-so-bustling morning rush hours down, slowly easing our way into “normal” office life once again. For many of us, it’s what we’ve been waiting months and months for, to be reunited with our colleagues for our morning coffee break catch ups, but for some, the thought of resuming to working-life “as usual” is overwhelming at the very least.

That is why it is now more important than ever to be able to recognize and prevent any back-to-work related anxiety or stress that you or your team may be facing at this time! Keep reading to find out more about back-to-work anxiety, our 5 easy tips to protect you and your team’s wellbeing at work and to access your very own digital wellbeing checklist!

During this stressful time, team culture could benefit greatly from the impact of our immersive corporate wellbeing workshops, tailored to helping you and your team overcome common problems faced in the working environment. If you think back-to-work anxiety could be impacting your team, our “Stress Management” and “Positive Thinking Techniques” workshops would be the perfect boost for you. Click here for more information on our corporate wellbeing workshops and webinars…

 

What is Back-To-Work Anxiety?

Fear and uncertainty have been feelings that many of us have become all too familiar with since the start of the pandemic… and it all derives from our natural human instinct to fear the unknown. 

After all, for many of us life will have never felt so “up in the air” as it does now.  Not knowing when we will next be able to see our loved ones, not knowing what the situation will be this time next week and not knowing if life will ever return to the “normal” we once knew. We’re also burdened with the worry of getting sick, or unknowingly causing others to become sick… so is it any wonder that as we slowly transition into “normal” working life, that many of us will feel apprehensive and even overwhelmed?

If you can relate, know that you are not alone. 

According to a study conducted by Envoy, while 94% of office workers want to return back to the office, a staggering 73% of us are still fearful that returning to work is unsafe. Among other health and safety concerns highlighted by this study were the fear of improper ventilation, crowding in office areas and even colleagues not following proper health and safety procedures when sick, posing a risk to others in their team.

After an entire year of shielding for the safety of ourselves and others, it is only understandable that being back in social spaces will cause many of us to feel anxious and concerned for our safety. We have all become accustomed to the idea that our homes are the one place that is safe for us to be in, massively reducing our comfort zones in the process. For many of us, feeling comfortable is going to take a lot of time and patience, so it is important that we go at a pace that works for us and that we nurture our wellbeing while we slowly adjust! 

While it may be a challenging time, we believe with the right guidance and actionable techniques, we can beat the overwhelm and stress that can arise when adjusting to new situations in our careers and our everyday life. Our “Work-Life Balance” Workshop (17th May) will help you and your team to create meaningful boundaries through sustainable and realistic prioritization techniques so that you can feel more in control of your personal and professional lives. 

Click here to find out more information. We’d love to see you there!

 

Our 5 Easy Tips to Protect your Wellbeing at Work…

1  Know that your feelings are valid

A lot of the time, protecting your wellbeing starts with you. So to protect your wellbeing while transitioning back to office life, you need to start by practicing some good old self-compassion. Remind yourself that it is okay to feel the way that you are feeling and avoid making any judgements when these anxious thoughts or feelings do arise.

Our top tip: when you start to feel anxious or stressed, write down one positive affirmation and take a minute or two to focus on just this one simple phrase. It could be something along the lines of “I am allowed to feel this way but this too will pass”


2  Ask for support

When we’re feeling stressed or anxious it can be tempting to bottle it up inside through a fear of being judged by others, especially in the world of work. We fear that if we open up about our struggles to our team, that we may be regarded as incapable or incompetent. However, with back-to-work anxiety, asking for support may really help to put your mind at ease about the protocol and procedures put in place to protect your health and safety. 

Top tip for team members: We know that opening up to your team can be a big step for many, so before you do be sure to take some time to process what may be the root cause of your concern. By doing this, you will be able to voice your true concerns a lot easier! We all know how easy it is to freeze up in the moment and be lost for words, so know what you want to say and what support you want from your team before asking for that 1:1!

3  Be a support to others

With protecting our mental health and wellbeing, social connection goes a long way. It is easy to feel alone in our thoughts and feelings particularly these days, and as humans deep down we seek to belong. By being a support to others that may be facing the same fears, you create a connection that will make others feel capable of overcoming their concerns and feel not so alone.

Top tip for team leaders: If you’re yet to transition back into office life, why not set up a socially distanced physical event to help your team feel comfortable with getting back out into the world? You could even take this opportunity to let your team know exactly what health and safety procedures you’re putting in place in order to show your support and ask them if there is anything they would like to see be put in place for their comfort and security!


4  Take an active role in the protection of your wellbeing

While it may feel like you can’t control a lot of what is happening around you, know that your wellbeing and mentality are two things that are fully within your control. It’s important that we take the necessary time to understand ourselves and our personal needs in order to be able to take an active role in the protection of our wellbeing. Pay attention to what makes you feel comfortable, what eases your concerns and know how you can implement these things easily while in the office.


5  Try out some positive coping tactics

It’s true, no matter how much we try to prevent our stress or anxiety there may be times when we do find ourselves mentally and emotionally overwhelmed. That is why it is essential to know how to positively respond to this overwhelm if and when it does occur. If you can feel yourself becoming overwhelmed at work, be sure to take a break from your desk, stretch your legs, rehydrate and even treat yourself to a quick, healthy snack. Practice some breathing exercises or resort to some journaling to refocus your brain and your body. You could even have a motivational mantra at the ready, to help kick those niggling nerves! 

Our top tip: Creativity and music are so powerful in uplifting your spirits and maintaining a healthy mind! Why not get involved with our upcoming “Contemporary Classical Piano Concert” workshop so you can easily enjoy the benefits of music on your wellbeing from the comfort of your own home (or even your garden!).

 

Whatever you do, just know that these thoughts and feelings will pass! They always do… You got this!

Download our free digital wellbeing checklist and tracker now to help you stay on top of those back-to-work blues and reclaim your office swagger!

Further reading

 

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