5 Ways to Mentally Prepare Yourself to Go Back to Work Amid COVID-19

posts by PaulTruman

Date(s) - 08/26/2020 - 08/27/2020
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Hilton Long Island/Huntington


The COVID-19 pandemic quickly became one of the most unprecedented events most people have seen in their lifetime. Never did you think you’d be stuck at home for months on end unable to go into the office to work. While many Americans sadly became unemployed during this time, others have continued to work from their homes. Now, as the world begins to reopen, you may be looking at a return to the office and a sense of normalcy. This return may come with excitement, but also some anxieties.

Things are going to be different. Your workplace is going to change. No more close contact or shared spaces or customer interaction. And you may have anxiety about getting yourself or your family sick. It’s understandable to feel apprehensive about changing your routine and returning to an environment that can’t 100% guarantee safety. Any change can be scary, so going from a comfortable work-from-home routine that you’ve enjoyed for months to the office is going to bring up some questions. As you mentally prepare to return to work, consider these five ways to get ready.

Know You’re Healthy

Coronavirus is a dangerous disease for many reasons. Perhaps the scariest is how you can be exposed and not show symptoms for up to two weeks. Or you can be a carrier without ever showing symptoms, but still be infecting others. Before you go back to work, know you’re healthy. You have to get tested for Covid-19. Most companies and businesses are requiring this of their employees, but even if they aren’t, its a good idea to get checked just for your peace of mind. Trusted testing centers are currently able to tell if you have not been infected at all, have the antibodies, or are currently fighting COVID. If you do have the virus, check out the next steps with your doctor and follow CDC guidelines of a minimum two-week quarantine. If you’re not infected, you can go back to work knowing you’re not spreading this disease to anyone else.

Keep Anxiety in Check

COVID-19 has affected people’s health in more ways than one. The uncertainty of this disease has caused a spike in mental health issues. And returning to work can increase anxiety when you don’t feel safe or ready to return. Be sure you’re monitoring your mental health care. Take breaks, give yourself space, learn some simple breathing techniques. Another way to monitor your anxiety is to speak with a therapist or psychologist. Mental health counseling can help you cope with the uncertainty and fear of the current situation. Amidst quarantine and social distancing, therapy companies have made online options more readily available for your first session or your one hundredth. So you can see an NYC therapist from anywhere in the United States as you work through your concerns about returning to work and the spread of COVID.

Bring Out the Work Attire

Being quarantined hasn’t been all bad. No one has been complaining about living in sweatpants and comfy clothes for five months. Mentally preparing to go back to work means getting out that work attire. Put that business dress back on and break out the blazers. You may even want to treat yourself to some new attire for your fabulous return. Get ready to start creating outfits and adhering to the dress code once again. And hey, maybe you can even coordinate your face covering.

Reconnect with Work Family

You spend a lot of time at work, and you probably have one or two close work friends. This is the time to reconnect with them. Share your apprehension and make a plan for how you’ll cope with going back together. Being isolated from the other professionals in your office may have been lonely. Get excited about the friends you’re coming back to.

Embrace Flexibility

Because of COVID-19, things are going to be different at work. Protocols are going to be constantly shifting as they learn more about how the virus spreads. You need to be mentally prepared to use patience, empathy, and flexibility. You’re working as a team and everyone is learning together. Be ready for a certain level of “go with the flow” as you return to work.