How to Navigate the Anxiety of Going Back to the Workplace

Phoenix anxiety therapist

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Change is hard, at least for most humans; so is uncertainty; and so is the feeling of lacking control. Throughout the last year and a half, many people have faced one (if not all three) of these anxiety producing triggers. If the idea of going back to the office makes you feel uneasy, you aren’t alone. You have resources to help you manage stress and anxiety, and you can contact a Phoenix anxiety therapist to help you each step of the way.

What you Might be Feeling Anxious About

First our world was overcome with an unknown virus, everything shut down and we moved to working and schooling from home. Then, just when we thought things were getting better, more and scarier virus variants developed and now –when some things have seemed to settle– we face going back to the office.

Even if anxiety is new to you, many people are feeling the stress of the unknown by heading back to the office. Not only that, but if your life and mental health improved by working from home, you may feel the fear of losing that healthy state of being. No matter what you’re feeling, therapists want you to know it’s normal, understandable, and there are healthy ways to cope.

Be Easy With Yourself

The globe, collectively, has experienced and shared in a life altering event. If you aren’t feeling yourself, try to remember that many people are in similar situations and it’s completely reasonable. Be gentle with yourself. Now, more than ever, people around you (outside of professionals) can offer support and understanding through a shared trauma. Each new phase of the pandemic has been different, and adjusting will require us to be patient with ourselves and others.

Take Control

Anxiety often feels like being out of control, and while there is much we can’t control during these times, there are some things you can do to take the edge off. If you notice that your heart is pounding, your chest is tight and your thoughts are racing in all directions, recognize this may be anxiety. The simple acknowledgement of identifying how you feel can begin to ease symptoms. It can also take some fear out of the equation because you realize you aren’t actually dying (it just feels that way).

Once you realize that you’re experiencing anxiety, you can take steps to manage it. Keep in mind, it’s best to have a few coping strategies because the same ones might not work all the time. If you’re in the workplace, for example, try getting up and taking a small walk. This seems like a small gesture, but anxiety needs to be channeled and that can look like movement, breathing, or changing your physical location. If you can’t take a walk, try distracting yourself by observing your surroundings. This is a great technique for centering yourself because it brings your thoughts back to the present moment.

Check out the infographic below for tips to stop the stress build up and reduce your anxiety symptoms!

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Infographic provided by Scottsdale Mental Health and Wellness, an Arizona substance abuse treatment center

The most important thing to remember is that you have help available. If you’re not comfortable sharing with your coworkers, professionals are ready to listen and offer guidance on ways to deal with stress and trauma.

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