Preparing Yourself for Returning to Work After Lockdown

After more than a year of remote life, things are finally starting to look brighter as people rush to get vaccinated and begin to think of returning to the office or school. While some are excited to get back to their previous way of life, according to a recent KPMG poll, 54% of Canadians feel anxiety about returning to the office. For these people, the idea of shared common areas, crowded elevators, or attending face-to-face meetings has become a source of anxiety and worry.

If you are feeling nervous about returning to work or school, here are a few things you can do to help manage these feelings:

Preparing Yourself for Returning to Work After Lockdown

Prepare with your family

Just as we all had to adapt to life at home last year, your entire family (pets included) will have to get used to things moving the other way. Children and pets who have been used to having parents around all day may find it difficult to understand the change. By having open and honest conversations about how everyone is feeling and making sure that pets are given space to learn to be alone, you can help reduce fear and prepare everyone for a return to life outside the home.

Talk to your employer and coworkers

Many people have been working from home exclusively since the original lockdown in 2020, with some having never set foot in the office at all if they got a new job during the pandemic. Worry about what to expect in regard to new safety measures, such as social distancing and masking rules, can cause anticipatory anxiety. Taking time to talk to your employer and any coworkers who you may be working with closely will give you all a chance to air any concerns, get to know each other if you have never met in person, and have things ready for when you return.

Give yourself time to adapt

Just as it took time for all of us to get used to working from home during lockdown, it will take time to get used to working in public once more. Getting back into a stricter schedule that might include commuting or shared workspaces might make it difficult to work on tasks that seemed simple from home. Remember to be kind to yourself and try not to get frustrated if things just don’t feel normal for a while.

Are you struggling with anxiety over returning to your workplace?

The Therapy Centre has skilled Psychologists, Social Workers and Psychotherapists who can assist you with optimizing your transition back to work or school. They are trained in effectively treating a wide variety of mental health issues, including anxiety, stress, low mood/depression and fears.

At The Therapy Centre we are now offering Telehealth services including secure phone sessions and videoconferencing as well as in-person visits at our offices.

Our offices are located across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area, at 2525 Old Bronte Road in Oakville, 849 Upper Wentworth Street in Hamilton, and a NEW location opening in Toronto in late 2021.

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