DEALING WITH THE ANXIETY OF GETTING BACK TO WORK AFTER LOCKDOWNS
As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve and states begin to lift their stay-at-home orders, many people are returning to work for the first time in a few months. With so much still unknown about COVID-19, the transition from working remotely to being in an office or retail setting can cause people to be anxious and nervous.
It’s important to not only take steps to keep yourself, and your family, safe, it’s also helpful to be aware of the strain that such changes can have on your mental health and take note of what you can do to manage it.
Remember that returning work also means returning to routine, which is something that may have been missing during a period of unemployment or remote work. Having days structured again with everything from morning routines to commutes to work outside the home can provide a return to at least some “normalcy.”
That routine also means it’s likely you are exerting more energy, making you more tired at the end of the day. It may be easier to fall asleep at night after a full day of work, whether that is in an office, store or restaurant. Getting a good night’s rest is critically important to being physically healthy and maintaining good mental health.
Take care of yourself, and others around you, by maintaining a safe social distance – 6 feet away – from others. Make sure that you’re following federal health guidelines, which include frequently washing your hands, regularly cleaning high-touch areas, wearing a mask and staying home if you’re sick or experiencing flu-like symptoms.
Focus on the things you can control, which can be as basic as deep breathing. Doing rhythmic breathing can help provide solace and stability during stressful situations. Make movement or exercise a priority; even something as basic as taking a walk a few times a day can help provide some stress relief and aid in loosening muscles tightened by being tense.
It’s also important to acknowledge that this is a scary time for everyone and you’re not alone in managing feelings of powerlessness, fear, anxiety and even depression. A wide range of tools and resources are available – both in person and online – to help navigate many different emotions during this period of uncertainty.
These tools include the expert team at Willow Creek Behavioral Health, which is available by phone any time of day, seven days a week. Call (888) 464-1498, or toll free at (844) 308-5050, to be connected with a mental health professional who can help to determine the next steps – including setting up an in-person assessment the same day.