Does the idea of returning to the office leave you feeling anxious?

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Does the idea of returning to the office leave you feeling anxious?

Have you enjoyed working from home? Did you manage to get into a comfortable routine and now find yourself struggling with the idea of needing to go into the office?

Working from home

Since the first lockdown back in March 2020, many people have been working from the back room or kitchen in their own homes. The place that was once a flurry of activity in the morning, lay empty through the day before the second burst of action in the evening, became the all-encompassing hub of everyday living. From home schooling children, holding down your job and online shopping, to keeping relationships afloat. Home became a sanctuary for some and a prison for others.

My husband usually travels globally for work and since February of last year he’s been doing all his work online and all my therapy appointments transferred to Zoom or FaceTime. We quickly developed a new routine – him in the kitchen and me in the office upstairs. We met over lunch, had dinner together, discussed who was walking the dog and when we’d get food shopping delivered. We did talk about other stuff too!

Creatures of habit

It’s amazing how quickly we fall into new habits and before we know it, they become the norm. Holding meetings on zoom, not having to travel or commute to work, staying in comfy clothes all day and not having to deal with office politics can be quite attractive. We can become used to being cocooned in our safe environment.

Change is in the air

When lockdown eased and we were able to venture out, many of us welcomed the opportunity to return to some form of normality – visit family and friends, eat out, go to the cinema or pub. Many were and still are keen to return to the workplace either full time or as a hybrid of home and office. They can’t wait to escape the day-to-day confinement of their own four walls.

Not all is welcomed

I’ve noticed, when working with some clients recently, that there are quite a few people struggling with the idea of going back to the office. Fear of change, of facing colleagues and bosses, of being more exposed to Covid contamination and of not being able to carry out the role as they did before (even though they’ve been doing it for the past 18 months).

These fears trigger high levels of stress and anxiety, impact productivity and performance.

What to do to ease the transition

If you’ve been asked to return to the office, contact one or two of yours colleagues, pick someone you like; arrange to meet for a coffee or lunch and a chat a couple of times. Ask one of them to meet you at the entrance of the office building or in the car park and walk in together. Negotiate a phased return if needed; start with one or two days a week in the office and gradually build up.

You may find that once you’ve gone in a couple of times it will all start to feel familiar again. It is important you go easy on yourself and take your time to adjust. Most of all be kind to yourself.  

With so many people suffering with stress, anxiety and depression brought on by Covid, lockdown, financial concerns and many other reasons, it’s vitally important to seek professional help before you become overwhelmed.

If you feel you’d like help, call Carla Devereux on 0121 745 9044 to book an appointment.

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Psychotherapy delves deep into the root causes of your symptoms.  Psychotherapy in Solihull, encompasses a multitude of approaches, each offering a wide range of tools that help different people.