Managing Social Anxiety While Returning to the Workplace

Managing Social Anxiety While Returning to the Workplace

February 25 2023 TalktoAngel 0 comments 882 Views

Do you worry and doubt what will happen when the lockdown is over? You're not alone in it, rest assured. Many individuals are concerned about their capacity to readjust themselves back to a routine when governments throughout the world proclaim the lifting of the limitations imposed during the lockdown. While most people want to go back to their old lifestyles, there are certain outliers who take comfort in this and now prefer the so-called "lockdown existence," fearful of returning to their old social lives.

This "post-lockdown anxiety" entails the worry of leaving our houses and resuming social interactions. Even though the lockdown has done a good job of stopping the virus's transmission, it has made matters worse by making people's social anxiety levels worse, which is already a problem because of social media and the constant COVID-19 coverage.

Here are some suggestions that may be useful for anyone who is concerned about returning to work and adjusting to life after the lockdown.

1. Recognize the circumstances.

For the majority of us, this is the first time in our lives that we are being forced to reduce our social activities. Therefore, realizing that we will all face challenges can help us feel more prepared for what is ahead. Your mental health will be much improved if you realize that everyone is going through a difficult moment and that your coworkers are also trying to find optimism during this period of uncertainty.

As you resume work, the more accepting you are of the circumstance, the less anxious you will feel. In such circumstances, staying in our homes indefinitely is not an option. The best course of action is to accept the current circumstances and adapt to the "new normal."

2. Practice safety by taking the necessary precautions

Lockdown limitations being lifted does not mean that life can resume as usual for us. We still need to wash our hands, put on masks, and behave socially. Similarly to this, we still have to refrain from hugging each other once a contract is closed and from shaking hands during meetings. By taking these precautions, we can not only reduce our anxiety about the virus but also improve our own and our coworkers' workplace safety.

Furthermore, make sure your workplace is secure before returning to your job. Keep at least a two-meter safe gap between you and your coworkers. Maintain regular hand washing and abide by the necessary health precautions. Make sure everyone working with you wears face masks as well when they return to work. You can somewhat reduce your fear of getting the virus by taking all these steps.

3. Put down your devices and cut back on-screen time.

Your screen time for reading news and social networking websites can boost your anxiety levels. Keeping up with the most recent news might help us become more aware of the world in which we live. However, we frequently fail to see how much our regular news-feed checking habit contributes to our anxiety levels.

4. Avoid overextending yourself.

When you return to work, give yourself time to adjust to your new position. Go light on yourself and pace yourself. Make sure you feel welcome and that the atmosphere at work is not too stressful. Make sure you allot adequate time for all the things you were doing during the lockdown, such as trying out new recipes, gardening, or picking up your favorite instrument, while you transition back to your job.

5. Prevent encountering tense circumstances

To minimize the stress of getting trapped in traffic or being late for work, make sure you leave early for the workplace. To reduce your risk of getting the virus, wear your mask and observe social distancing if you must utilize public transportation. Similar to this, strive to eliminate any backlogs at work as soon as possible, make sure you are well-prepared for the presentation you must give to reduce stress, and steer clear of any conflicts with coworkers to preserve a positive work atmosphere for everybody.

6. Speak up: Inform your boss and coworkers of the situation.

You must be open with those close to you about your predicament and your mental health if you want to ensure a smooth transition back to work. In rare circumstances, your company might take into account permitting you to work from home due to your mental health. In some cases, the company may even be able to provide you with the necessary equipment to set up your home office, which will be of great use to you. On the other hand, a communication breakdown with the employer could also be a source of worry. Therefore, it is best to speak out and ask your employer for feedback on any problems you are having.

Similarly to this, it is crucial for managers and employers to convey emotional support to the employees under their control and to contribute to the development of a positive work environment. They should be aware that some of their employees may feel anxious about going back to work given the current situation and may have trouble making the regular commute. Therefore, it's important to encourage staff members to openly express their concerns.

7. Don't talk about the coronavirus

The number of impacted cases will increase as the situation with the coronavirus continues to change. While maintaining awareness of the issue is important, worrying about the epidemic constantly is not the right course of action. It is preferable to avoid any discussion or debate regarding the pandemic unless absolutely essential in order to avoid the anxiety brought on by constant exposure to COVID-related news.

8. Look for yourself.

Get at least six to eight hours of good quality sleep each night to ensure a healthy mental state. By doing this, you may make sure you're charged for the next day and keep your mind under control. Yoga and breathing techniques can both aid in relaxation. Taking care of your meals and eating a balanced diet also contribute to having a clear mind.

9. Strike a balance between your work and "pleasure life"

Make it a point to plan some breaks in between work periods. There are various methods to break up the mundane work-life even while the pandemic prevents you from going out with your pals and attending enjoyable events. This may be straightforward things like a quick stroll in the neighborhood park. Your anxiety levels can be significantly reduced by incorporating the activities you actually enjoy into your daily routine. These activities will also serve as mind-boosters," lifting your spirits and facilitating your adjustment to the "new normal.

10. Option to Work from Home:

Find out from your company if you can work a portion of the time from home. If it fits your role, your company might let you resume work gradually, perhaps by starting with a half-day.

11. Try it out a few times and go to the office without having to work. Anticipating what may happen is frequently worse than actually being there. Your body will be better the more you put yourself in the circumstance you're concerned about.

12. If your workplace is difficult or your coworkers are bothersome, speak out. You must follow the proper procedures. We don't need people battling with a stressful workplace on top of everything else we've been going through right now.

13. Avoid using self-medication. Alcohol or other drugs could make you feel more at ease about going back to work, but they also create their own trap.

14. Try Online Therapy or Online Counselling with the Best Psychologist in India, or an Online Counsellor at TalktoAngel.

Contributed by – Dr.R.K Suri Clinical Psychologist & Ms. Varshini Nayyar Counselling Psychologist

Reference:

1. https://www.healthifyme.com/blog/11-tips-to-manage-social-anxiety-when-getting-back-to-the-workplace/

2. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/29/realestate/coronavirus-lockdown-coping.html



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