5 Tips for Managing Back-to-Work Anxiety

As vaccination rates continue to rise, many people feel excited to return to life as normal. Yet, at the same time, there is a sense of heightened anxiety as you leave the comfort of your home office and enter the public workspace once again. 

While this adjustment period is completely normal, it can also be very uncomfortable and lead to long term mental health issues. Here are some tips to help manage back-to-work anxiety:

Notice How Your Anxiety Manifests

It’s important to note that each person experiences anxiety in their own unique way. 

You may experience physical symptoms such as a racing heart, nervous belly, or fidgeting hands. On the other hand, you may notice emotional symptoms such as feeling pessimistic, irritable, antisocial or unproductive. 

Being aware of your physical and mental responses to anxiety can help you better manage them. Speaking to a professional may also help you distinguish anxious patterns in your life.

Stay Informed on Safety Protocols

Many people feel anxiety over the lingering Covid-19 pandemic and the potentially dangerous results of returning to work. 

To avoid this, stay informed on the local and national safety protocols suggested by the experts. 

Employers should continue to enforce wearing masks and social distancing. You may also need to consider rearranging the office space to allow for more distance between workers. 

Practice Gratitude

One of the greatest ways to combat anxiety is to practice gratitude. While working from home has many benefits you may be reluctant to give up, consider all the benefits that come with working in an office. 

Socializing with coworkers and separating homelife from worklife are some examples of the benefits of working out of the house. 

It is also very important to share gratitude with your employees and/or coworkers. 

When people feel their work is under or  unappreciated, they tend to be more self-critical, which in turn causes anxiety. Uplifting others is a great way to boost the morale of the entire office.

Practice Mindfulness 

Mindfulness is the practice of giving your attention fully to the present moment. 

When you feel anxious, your thoughts tend to wander and race beyond your control. It is in these moments you need to take a deep breath, slow down, and ground yourself in your current surroundings. 

This skill is very important to prevent work anxiety regarding Covid-19 or other stressors beyond your control. It can also be helpful to avoid bringing your personal life into work and vice versa, making you more productive overall. 

Talk It out

Speaking about your anxiety is one of the greatest tools you have to disarm it. 

You may realize your fears are less rational, yet more common, than you initially believed. Speaking to your coworkers, employer, or employees about anxiety may help resolve issues that would otherwise go unaddressed. 

If you experience intense, unmanageable anxiety, you might want to consider speaking to your doctor about getting professional help. 

Using medication or talk therapy may seriously improve your outlook on life, and as a result, alleviate back-to-work anxiety.

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