Combatting “Re-entry” Anxiety

Throughout the pandemic, it has become apparent that supporting mental health is more important than ever. As the country continues to return to pre-COVID life, this can understandably cause feelings of what is being called “re-entry anxiety”. Re-entry anxiety can be described as an overall uncertainty or uneasiness about returning to the way things were prior to the pandemic.  For many, it is hard to imagine returning to their pre-pandemic life, with the added stresses of traffic, social gatherings, and managing family schedules.

If you find yourself or your employees struggling with this transition, consider the following tips to help cope with re-entry anxiety:

Communicate- Don’t be afraid to set boundaries on what you are and are not comfortable with. Setting limits and being upfront with those around you can help manage expectations and relieve some of the anxiety you might be feeling.

Use the buddy system- If you have a friend or colleague that is going through a similar phase of life as you, support each other through this transition. It’s helpful to talk to someone that can relate to what you’re going through and offer advice on what has worked well for them.

Reframe the situation- Instead of focusing on what we can’t do, try thinking about all the things we are able to do again. What were some of your favorite activities pre-pandemic that you haven’t done in a while? Focusing on the positive can help shift your mindset from negative to optimistic.

Set Limits- If scrolling social media or tuning into the news is stressing you out, it might be a good idea to take a break from it. Instead, consider prioritizing rest and relaxation, or practicing mindfulness. If you are new to mindfulness, there are many apps and videos that can serve as a helpful resource.

Prioritize Mental Health

It is imperative that employers prioritize the mental health of their employees during these challenging times. Managers should be encouraged to check in with their employees on a regular basis to see how they are faring. Keeping an open dialogue and asking for employee input can help create an organizational culture that supports employee wellbeing.

Walsh Duffield has a team of Corporate Wellbeing Consultants dedicated to helping keep your employees safe and well. For more information on how to integrate mental health into your organization’s culture contact our wellbeing team.

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