Companies across the United States are in the process of bringing employees back to the office in 2021. Studies have found that 10 million Americans had shifted to working from home due to the pandemic. But now, they will need to re-learn how to socialize and get along with one another. Going back to the physical workspace after almost a year might be quite a relief though. Managers are likely to acknowledge, measure and take actions to alleviate employee concerns about returning to the workplace, which is the key to achieving trust, hope and stability, according to an article by Gallup. You might also get to see your favorite co-worker and finally swap the kitchen table for a dedicated workstation.

But those looking forward to stepping out are in the minority. In fact, 29% in a survey of 1,000 people said that they valued the flexibility of remote work. This is due to awkwardness, the anxiety of the transition and fear of falling back into discipline. Here’s how to make the day less stressful if your joining date is looming ahead.

  • See a Counsellor

You might be experiencing “reentry anxiety.” This comes from the thought of having to leave the comfort zone of your home. It can shut you down and impair your ability to function. Panic attacks and generalized anxiety can be common. Therapy can target the symptoms, prevent a relapse and teach you how to overcome fear and anxiety, according to the Institute for Personal Growth. You can schedule an appointment online or offline to prepare better for the big day.

  • A Good Sleep Schedule

Not having to commute lets you snooze for some extra minutes or family life pushes your days late into the night, according to an article by the Cleveland Clinic. Getting back to an established routine could be a shock to this haphazard lifestyle. Create a steady routine beforehand. Get at least 7-9 hours of sleep. This can help you stay mentally and physically fresh on the first day of joining back. You are likely to be highly productive, which might reduce anxiety.

  • Complete Your Vaccination

The thought of going out in public might create a knot in your stomach. But fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal and state laws. This can minimize the fear of contracting the virus. You can go to office without inhibitions. Not having to use sanitizers or cover your face can also induce a sense of normalcy. This is quite a solace from the constant fear of COVID.

  • Try Self-Care Options

Amid the many positives, returning to work might still feel hard. Be mindful of signs of stress, such as heaviness in the chest, shortness of breath and increased heart rate, and address them in real-time, according to an article by Verywell Mind. Try not to force yourself to deliver a top-notch performance at all times. Take a break and freshen up to de-stress. Take your lunch and coffee breaks on time to keep the body active and relaxed. Do not hesitate to set work boundaries to keep your peace of mind intact.

Navigating COVID-19 and its aftermath is a big challenge. But putting the discussed tips into action can help you build mental strength to get back to the real world.

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