After a rollercoaster ride of a few years, it seems we’ve finally reached a point where restrictions are easing. The parks and beaches are filling with people again. There are more cars on the road, more pedestrians to share the sidewalk with, and desks are being occupied in the office again.
For many, this easing of restrictions is a welcome relief, as it signifies a slow return towards some form of normality again. For others, however, the thought of walking out the front door every day and engaging in normal day-to-day activities is daunting and invokes anxiety.
If you are experiencing post-lockdown anxiety and/or depression, you’re not alone. And thankfully, there are lots of tools and resources for helping you cope with “returning to work anxiety”.
Here are some quick remedies that you can try as early as today, which might help to overcome back to office anxiety.
If the thing that is most stressing you out is health and safety in the workplace, perhaps the best way to combat this anxiety is to gain a clear understanding of what measures are in place for keeping your office or workspace COVID-friendly.
Have a think about what questions you want to know the answers to, and then speak to whoever is in charge of your company’s post-COVID protocols.
Are we going to be following social distancing measures? Will we have an adequate supply of masks and hand sanitiser on-site at all times? Will we still conduct virtual meetings over in-person ones where possible? What about staggered shifts, paperless initiatives and other measures we can implement to further reduce risks? What’s the plan for dealing with employees that aren’t following the rules?
Just by finding the answers to these questions, you might find that this immediately diffuses (or at least reduces) your concerns.
It goes without saying that COVID restrictions took away a lot of the freedom to go about our daily activities the way we once did, and so we tend to focus on the things that are out of our control.
However, there’s plenty of variables that you are in complete control of managing. For instance, perhaps there is a quieter grocery store where you can pick up your produce without dealing with crowded supermarkets. Perhaps investing in a bicycle to get to work is preferable to taking public transport.
It’s also worth considering what’s in your control vs. what’s out of your control. If you take a moment to sit down and scribble some notes on what you do and don’t have control over, you may find that you put yourself at ease with just how much power you still have to make your own decisions in day-to-day life.
Many of us completely fell out of our routine the moment that lockdowns were put in place.
This creates a lot of anxiety in itself, so you might find that forcing yourself into a consistent routine again will alleviate some of your post-lockdown anxiety. Think about some of the positive things you started doing (or did more of) during lockdown – maybe spending more time with your family, or engaging in new hobbies.
Try incorporating these into your new routine, so that you’ve got something positive to take away from the time spent in lockdown.
Did you ever go travelling abroad to faraway places and foreign cultures, and have a go-to comfort item for when you were feeling homesick? Maybe it was having a few episodes of FRIENDS downloaded, or a favourite book that you’ve read several times over.
This tactic works great for these circumstances as well. Bring some items to the workplace which might provide you with a sense of calm and help you feel less anxious in the office. A personal playlist maybe, a photo that never fails to cheers you up, or a good book for your lunch breaks.
Perhaps most importantly of everything on this list, is to continuously remind yourself of what you’ve been through, and that you did in fact come out the other side.
Plunging into lockdown was a shock to the system, and emerging from it is no different. It’s important to reassure yourself that you’ll overcome this, just like you overcame the beginning of the pandemic.
Have you been hunched over your desk working from home for months, engaging in less physical activity than pre-lockdown? You might benefit from myotherapy treatment to help you alleviate pain and stiffness, enhance mobility and slip back into your active day-to-day lifestyle.
Don’t hold back from indulging yourself with a few niceties during this difficult time; especially if it will make you feel exponentially better!
At Essendon Natural Health, we provide a variety of natural health services that aim to inspire, educate and support a healthier and happier lifestyle.