COVID-19: Managing Anxiety When Returning to Work

COVID-19 has challenged many people’s security and sense of control. Returning to work represents a return to normal, but it may not be without its own causes for anxiety. Finding a balance between your personal well being, work environment and responsibilities is important. So, before and after your return to work, you should address any reservations related to COVID-19 that may affect your work duties.

Continue to follow the recommended measures to prevent spreading the virus. Take care of yourself and others by taking the necessary actions at work (washing your hands often, staying home if you’re sick and maintaining social distancing), as well as in your daily  interactions. If the kind of work you do needs additional precautions, discuss necessary changes and follow the instructions from your manager.

Don’t be afraid to propose additional suggestions. If you find yourself coming up with more ideas outside of the recommended safety measures, bring those up to your manager. This is a time where everyone must adapt to a new way of doing things—at work and home. By becoming more involved, this can provide a refocus of your thoughts and put you in a more optimistic place during this transition.

Keep communication open with your manager. Be honest with your manager if you need certain arrangements. Even if your manager cannot accommodate your needs exactly, most will do what they can. When you create an open line of  communication, it will also help alleviate your anxiety.

Be patient with yourself and your coworkers. In the aftermath of a stressful or disruptive event, it is natural to move at a slower pace while you recover and adjust to new circumstances. If you have concerns that are keeping you from focusing on your work, share these thoughts with your manager. They may be able to offer guidance. Keep in mind that returning to work from COVID-19 puts everyone in circumstances that are a little new and different. Give yourself  time to return to your former focus and full productivity. Be patient and trust that your team will find its old rhythm.

Take care of your mental health. Anxiety and stress are normal during these times. If you struggle to manage these feelings, ask for help.

If you are concerned about your mental health, don’t hesitate to seek advice. BHS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 800-245-1150.