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Tips for back to work anxiety

remote working
Posted at 3:56 PM, Apr 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-26 17:56:48-04

For more than a year, your work life may have looked a lot different during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The prospect for many people of going back to the office, if they've been home for the better part of a year, is really intimidating," said Kristen Carpenter, a psychologist at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center.

Carpenter says heading back to work may be hard on your mental health.

"I think it's difficult for employees thinking about coming back, but it's also difficult for managers, businesses for employers to kind of figure out the logistics of this."

Carpenter says some people may still struggle with the uncertainty of the pandemic, fears of the virus or simply seeing co-workers again after being isolated. Asking about the work safety protocols and knowing things won't look exactly the same as pre-pandemic can help.

Carpenter says if you haven't been out much the past year, you should slowly and safely start doing so.

"If it's really intimidating, do so in off-hours when maybe the traffic won't be quite so high, you have an opportunity to explore and just be in the world again."

While it may seem daunting to some, Carpenter says going back to the office could be a good thing to many. She says to make sure to take care of yourself and start with the basics. Get enough sleep, eat well, exercise and connect with others. If you need more help, talk to a professional.