Returning to Work Have You Feeling Anxious? How You Can Cope

It is understandable if you feel anxious at work. This is particularly true if you have recently returned to an office setting after working from home over the last year because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Whether it is a feeling of dread, nervous butterflies, or social anxiety, these types of feelings in the workplace are normal.

Here are a few tips to help you to navigate workplace anxiety.

Think Positive

It is easy to assume the worst in any workplace situation. Get called into your boss' office for a meeting? Do not just assume that you are going to get bad news. This will only heighten your existing anxious feelings. Instead, focus on how this may be a positive experience. It is important to resist the urge of falling into negative thinking every time there is some uncertainty in the office.

Get Moving

Physical activity is often the miracle cure that you have been searching for. If you find yourself feeling anxious, nervous, or fidgety, channel that energy into something positive by taking a walk around the office complex or hitting the gym over your lunch break. You will be amazed at how raising the heart rate or working up a sweat can help to lower your anxiety levels. The feel-good endorphins released by exercise will instantly boost your mood and calm your mind.

Consult with Human Resources About Available Programs

There is a good chance that your company may offer some type of assistance program to help you to combat these feelings of anxiety. Your human resources representative is a good person to speak with about potential resources that you can lean on for help. Perhaps this is seeking the help of a mental health professional? Or maybe it is a company-sponsored wellness program designed to assist employees in living a happier and healthier life?

Avoid Anxiety Triggers

One of the best approaches to preventing anxiety at work is to be intentional about avoiding what you know to be your triggers. These triggers vary between individuals. However, some of the most common anxiety triggers include hunger and fatigue. If you know that hunger will set off your anxiety, being purposeful about eating small snacks throughout the day can go a long way in helping you to avoid these problems. You should also arrive at work as well-rested as possible to avoid fatigue triggers. It is easy for your emotions to be sent into a tailspin if you are hungry or tired.

Lean Into the Good Parts

Rather than dreading all of the negativity that you associate with working in an office setting, try leaning into all of the positive aspects. If you enjoy the social aspect of being out of the house, harness this benefit and plan a weekly lunch or happy hour with your co-workers. If it is the commute that you dread, use this downtime to listen to an audiobook. By framing your mind to focus on the good parts of being back in the office, you will begin to appreciate the advantages of your job.

Accept Some Level of Anxiety

It may be that worrying about being anxious is actually causing you to feel this anxiety more acutely. Rather than fighting these feelings, it is a better idea to accept that this is natural to some degree. Accept that these feelings of anxiety and nervousness are going to happen on some level no matter what you do to try to control them. Rather than trying to fight them off, go with the flow and remind yourself continually that they will pass. Do not be afraid to give yourself a pep talk if that is what is going to help you to push through the time of anxiety.

There is no getting around the truth that returning to the office may be difficult for some workers. Remember to give yourself grace as you get through this time of transition. While you may not be able to eliminate these feelings of anxiety in the workplace entirely, practicing these steps can help you to get a better handle on the situation.

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