How to keep on top of your mental health when returning to work after a year in isolation

Going back to work may seem extremely daunting for some, especially going back into a face-to-face environment. It has been a year since we first went into lockdown and it is crazy to think that some people have been working from home for a whole year. Now that the lockdown is easing, offices are eager to get workers back into the work office environment. This may cause some unwanted stress or anxiety due to either being comfortable now working from home or an anxious feeling of seeing co-workers or people you haven’t been able to see for over a year.

We have shared some ways that might help you feel less stressed or anxious when returning to a ‘normal’ work life.

Walk to work (If you can)

Walking helps boost your overall health and also helps reduce stress. Walking to work can allow you some more time by yourself before you start a busy day, it also allows time for you to organise your mind which can help reduce your stresses of going back to an office full of people.

Breathing exercises

Breathing exercises can be very beneficial for the mind and help reduce stress and anxiety symptoms. It also lowers your heart rate and blood pressure which can rise when stressed. You can use exercises anytime throughout the day when you feel a little overwhelmed, simply take nice and slow deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.

Separate work from home

Because you are going back into a physical office it can be easier to separate work from home now instead of when working from home your home is the office. It will allow you to feel less stressed by leaving thoughts and feelings related to work at work! It is easier said than done, but when mastered can be rather effective.

Talk to people

Let people know how you are feeling, if you are feeling overwhelmed by the thought of going back into work let a co-worker or manager know so they can take the steps to help you. Talking to someone and sharing your feelings may also help others that feel the same as you which can help make going back to work feel like an easier process.

Keep a routine

Keeping a daily routine will help keep you on track and can keep a positive structure and schedule. By keeping a schedule it can help take away small stresses and will allow you to keep an eye on the positives of the day.

Don't be too hard on yourself if you find that you are overwhelmed in the first couple of days, you probably aren’t the only one that is struggling. Take each new day as it comes and use the end of the day to reflect back and write down any issues or achievements from the day which will help you to feel at ease.

Don’t forget, you’ve got this!

Written by Lizzie King, Marketing Smartly Ltd