Mental health experts: how to handle anxiety when returning to office


HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — According to a study from the Massachusetts General Hospital, “The U.S Census Bureau recently reported that a third of Americans show signs of clinical depression and anxiety. These and other mental conditions are becoming amplified during the recent pandemic, while COVID-19 patients and their families are also at high risk to develop depression and anxiety.”

However, as state restrictions begin to ease, some employers might be calling employees back to work, but returning back to work in person again can cause severe anxiety in some individuals.

Dr. Alexander Chan, who is a Mental & Behavioral Health Specialist at the University of Maryland Extension, says it is important to understand that it will take time to feel safe.

“People should keep in mind to practice self-compassion, and what I mean by that is just realizing that we have all been through a lot.  You don’t need to expect yourself to immediately be on your      “A-game” in person like you were a pre-pandemic. There’s going to be a period of adjustment, and it’s not going to be immediately,” said Chan.

In order to prepare yourself mentally for physically returning to the workplace, it’s helpful to get answers about your concerns.

The CDC gives you a list of things to look out for when dealing with work stress:

  • Feeling irritation, anger, or in denial
  • Feeling uncertain, nervous, or anxious
  • Lacking motivation
  • Feeling tired, overwhelmed, or burned out
  • Feeling sad or depressed
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Having trouble concentrating

Mental health experts say it is crucial to protect your mental health at this time, and if you have concerns about returning to work in person, it is important to have a conversation with your supervisors and possibly come up with an alternative.

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