Back to the Office Anxiety:

Can we get back to the office without some anxiety:

This pandemic brought along with it a lot of challenges, including new ways of living for most of us. When the pandemic happened everything about our daily structures changed and that may have caused a lot of anxiety. Now, we are moving back towards normality, but the normality of how we lived our lives before is different. It may never feel the same way it did before. We are different, this pandemic changed us and our thinking of the world around us.

Now most of us are being asked to go back to work in person and be a part of a community of people again. With such big changes heading in our direction it’s important for us to take a step back. In lieu of trying to return back to more normality all at once. You may be asking yourself, how? How can I take these changes in strides when so much is being asked of me?

1. Making a List

One of the biggest things that we can do is take a step back and examine what we can control. When we find ourselves in situations that are difficult and harder to manage we tend to get overwhelmed. We take in the whole picture of a situation. Instead, it is helpful to write a physical list of what you can and cannot control in the situation. An example of something that you can control in the situation of going back into the office again is your work ethic. You can decide how you are going to manage your time in the office. How you managed your time with working from home, maybe different then how you are able to manage how you work from the office.  It’s important to be aware of those differences so you can better adjust.

2. Assess your work- life balance  

After going back to the office, it may be easier or more difficult to find your work- life balance routine. In a recent study from The World Health Organization, people who worked 55 hours a week showed a 35 percent higher risk for certain conditions like stroke. And a 17 percent higher risk of passing away from heart disease.  This is compared to those that work comparatively about 35-40 hours a week. Make sure that you are setting appropriate boundaries with your workplace when coming back into the office. You may find it easier to go over hours when you are in the office then when you are at home because there are less distractions. Make sure that you are working appropriate hours for your emotional and physical health.

3. Make sure you take breaks

 When you were working from home you may have found more opportunities to take breaks. When you return to working in the office it is also important to find appropriate times to take breaks. A break may include something as simple as going to the restroom. When we are more on edge and anxious we sometimes forget to attune to what are bodies are asking of us. When we forget to take those breaks that can make us even more anxious.

The transition from working from the office to working from home was stressful. So can this transition of working from home to the office again. It’s okay and normal to feel anxious about both transitions. You have shown resiliency throughout this pandemic and continue to show it through this new transition.  Trust in yourself and your abilities. This new transition will take time to get used to but eventually will become easier just as the last one did before.

Kaitlynn Divine, LMFTA is a local therapist in Charlotte, NC. To learn more about how to deal with the anxiety of getting back to the office, reach out to Kaitlynn, if you live in the state of North Carolina at [email protected] or 980-294-0462

Reference website:

https://www.npr.org/2021/05/17/997462169/thousands-of-people-are-dying-from-working-long-hours-a-new-who-study-finds

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