If we’re being honest, the transition back to ‘normal’ life hasn’t exactly felt smooth. Things have felt rushed, and in some cases, even overwhelming. In fact, people on a global scale have reported that they’re experiencing symptoms of anxiety about returning back to their everyday lives. A recent study of around 5,000 office employees from five different countries concluded that every single person felt nervous about returning to work. Now, while things are unclear and some restrictions are being put into place, we put together a list of strategies to take if you’re heading back to work or everyday activities and not feeling confident about doing so. Just remember, you’re not alone.
and don’t apologize for them…
The truth is, you never have to apologize for setting boundaries. If you’re still practicing social distancing, be vocal about that when in the workplace, in public, or making plans with friends. If your usual activities are causing you great discomfort and you have boundaries that would make you feel better, set those up for yourself and don’t feel guilty. You have the right to these.
with yourself and others…
This is especially important in the workplace and your close circle. If you’re feeling anxious about returning to work, be honest with your manager. It’s more than likely that your place of work has set up extra safety precautions to help make employees feel more comfortable and at ease about returning to work. Having your manager go over these with you can help put your mind at ease. When it comes to friends and loved ones, if you don’t exactly feel comfortable attending certain plans, speak up about it. The only thing you can do is be as honest as possible with everyone so they know exactly where you stand. And be honest, with yourself too! Don’t deter yourself from your true feelings to appease others.
even if it’s just a few minutes per day…
When these feelings do come up, take the time to honor them, reflect, and really feel them. Bottling things up won’t help you at the end of the day, and will most likely make your anxious feelings worse. It’s not productive for your mental health to not take the time to reflect on these emotions. Even if it’s just for a few minutes a day, sit down with yourself and process how ‘normal’ life activities are really making you feel.
research options for professional help and beyond…
The structure of mental healthcare is forever changed. In fact, virtual therapy and mental health resources are likely here to stay no matter how normal life gets. If you’re already matched up with a therapist and your mental health isn’t at its best, consider bumping up your visits to once or twice per week if you feel you need it. Check in with your therapist and see if they’re open to in-person visits now, and if it’s something you’re comfortable with it may be more productive. If you’re not in therapy, research some platforms for affordable care with payment plans, insurance coverage, and memberships. The mental health industry as we know it is really pushing forward to make therapy and resources more affordable and accessible to everyone.
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