New Job Anxiety: 10 Tips for Overcoming Your Nerves

How To Deal With Fear And Anxiety As We Return To The Workplace

Unlike nervousness, a personality trait, anxiety symptoms can interfere with your daily functioning abilities, work performance, and productivity skills. It’s perfectly normal and healthy to be a bit fearful, confused or unsettled by workplace changes at first, Reynolds says. “In fact, it’s quite normal to feel nervous and upset when things go out of our control. The unhealthy part occurs with inappropriate or unhelpful responses. Heather L Rusch, PhD, is a Clinical Investigator at the National Institutes of Health and recipient of the 2020 Alies Muskin Career Development Leadership Award.

How To Deal With Fear And Anxiety As We Return To The Workplace

A number of factors can contribute to workplace anxiety, and these can vary from person to person. Anxiety disorder symptoms are “persistent, consistent, and negatively affect several aspects of your life,” says Emme Smith, a licensed psychotherapist and CEO of GraySpace Counseling Group. Take advantage of employer resources and benefits. Your workplace may offer an Employee Assistance Program , discounts to gyms, or skill-building courses.

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Make the connection between the expectations for the return and the concerns they’ve shared with you, for example saying something like, “We understand that some of you have reservations and those make sense. To address those, we’ve….” Again, you want people to feel heard and considered. Mandates may have the opposite effect than intended. “You’re not going to get what you want if you’re basically roping people into the office,” says Hirsh. For many employees, returning to the office means putting themselves and their families at risk of contracting COVID-19, even if they are vaccinated.

  • Social boundaries can become tricky, and navigating how to respect each other’s feelings has never been more critical to getting back to a peaceful work environment.
  • Snopes’ Coronavirus Collection is one place to start.
  • Staying home as much as possible, even if you don’t feel sick.

Now, there are 2 camps on how we think about life after COVID. Social boundaries can become tricky, and navigating how to respect each other’s feelings has never been more critical to getting back to a peaceful work environment. We know that if you’re taking care of your emotional health, then you’re taking care of your physical health at the same time. We really want to make sure that we have this holistic approach to managing the whole person, and behavioral health is a huge component of that. During this unprecedented time, it’s normal to feel afraid and anxious, especially as the information changes daily.

What Is Social Anxiety and Why Does It Flare Up at Work?

If you do not feel comfortable going to your manager, you can speak with your company’s human resources department. And when it comes to the workplace, that could be as literal as physical safety or lack of job security. Coupled with worldly worries, like a pandemic or an economic downturn, stress and fear at work can be at an all-time high. If you’re an employer, making sure that your employees have access to mental health services and support is important, Gruttadaro says. If your anxiety begins to interrupt your ability to perform at work, seek help from a mental health professional specializing in workplace anxiety.

How To Deal With Fear And Anxiety As We Return To The Workplace

“You’re always being evaluated by others, you might be exposed to new situations, you’re put on the spot, you’re held responsible for your performance—there’s pressure and you want to perform well,” Williams explains. “This is the perfect combination for social anxiety and panic to arise. In addition, a lot of times we’re often fatigued from work, which makes it easier for our nervous system to malfunction.” To help ease the worry, we’re breaking down how social anxiety can manifest in the workplace and sharing smart methods to cope with it. If friends or loved ones are panicking, try to help them gain some perspective on the situation. Instead of scaremongering or giving credence to false rumors, refer them to reputable news sources. Being a positive, uplifting influence in these anxious times can help you feel better about your own situation too.

Popular virtual care options for today’s workforce

Thus, anxiety about going to work or workplace anxiety is a common issue, yet it is often overlooked. Returning to work post-pandemic can be overwhelming and challenging for many due to the drastic transitions. But with the right coping strategies, you can take matters into your hand and try to reduce them, if not stop them. Positive thinking or eliminating negative self-talk can be your key to reducing workplace anxiety. When you talk about changing your perspective on life, you should ask yourself the age-old question, i.e., “Is your glass half empty or half full ?”. According to many studies, a positive outlook on life plays an important role in managing stress and anxiety.

  • Many people with marginalized identities have enjoyed less of a need to conform to majority culture appearance standards and greater protection from the trauma of microaggressions.
  • You can help older adults, low-income families, and others in need by donating food or cash.
  • Regardless of how long you’ve been in your current position, with your current company, returning after a long hiatus to the actual office space can be enough to induce anxiety in many of us.
  • Often, those of us who live with anxiety are also perfectionists, over-achievers, and generally people who expect a lot from themselves.
  • Remember how much effort you put into landing this new position?
  • Before you can cope with social anxiety at work, it’s important to understand exactly what you’re dealing with.

A 2021 FlexJobs survey found that 98% of employees who went remote during COVID-19 either want to stay remote permanently (65%) or have a hybrid work option (33%). Moreover, nearly 60% of survey respondents “would absolutely look for a new job” if they couldn’t continue working remotely in their current position. My research on the psychology of stressful uncertainty reveals several ways of managing these anxieties. First, it helps to plan ahead to gain a sense of control over the uncertain future — perhaps by revisiting your work wardrobe, dusting off your daily planner, or looking up some new recipes for lunch-on-the-go.

If you find yourself struggling at work, you may benefit from asking for an adjustment to make the transition back to the office more manageable. The Americans With Disabilities Act offers protections for workers with physical and mental impairments, and grants How To Deal With Fear And Anxiety As We Return To The Workplace you the right to ask for a reasonable accommodation if you have a mental health condition. If you expect to experience symptoms like panic attacks, dissociation, flashbacks or general anxiety at work, have some coping strategies ready to go ahead of time.

How do I overcome my fear and anxiety at work?

  1. Work! In addition to financial reasons, working can be important for your self-esteem and it adds to your social identity.
  2. Tell a trusted coworker.
  3. Educate yourself.
  4. Practice time management.
  5. Plan and prepare.
  6. Do it right the first time.
  7. Be realistic.
  8. Ask for help.

Revised job descriptions, raises and promotions, hiring freezes and budget cuts may be at the top of the list of unsettling workplace changes, Reynolds says. We’ve spent the past year rethinking how we move through every aspect of daily life to avoid spending too much time indoors with people outside our household. At some point, new routines developed, and it no longer became strange or even awkward to give other people a wide berth. The prospect of breaking those habits and reestablishing behaviors that may look similar to old ones might very well be daunting. These 14 strategies can help you stay on top of work stress and avoid a burnout.

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