Workplace anxiety: 4 ways to get past ‘back to office’ stress
Well, the era of work from home (WFH) was always debatable. There are always two sides to whether it is a boon or bane. The corporate staff, in particular, was given the comfort of all the gadgets at home. Offices made these arrangements available for their employees to not let the Covid-19 induced lockdown to affect productivity. However, the workplaces have now resumed normal work hours at the office, and many individuals are troubled by workplace anxiety.
Most of the working-class people were relieved by WFH because they got to avoid the rush, the traffic jams, the convenience of choosing work hours, etc. Now the resumption of ‘in office’ work patterns has again put them under pressure.
This new change has tremendously increased workplace anxiety among working women. During WFH, women were able to multitask efficiently. They could handle work and home fronts quite effectively and at ease with their own convenience. Now, they have to worry about everything sitting in the office, feeling helpless over the situation.
To get more insights on the same, HealthShots spoke to Dr Sanjay Kumavat, Consultant Psychiatrist and Sexologist, Fortis Hospital, Mulund.
Agreeing with the demanding nature of working from office, Dr Kumavat says, “The traveling hours in metro cities is a big challenge and it takes almost half of one’s working life. The added expenditure in making the logistic arrangements is also a Herculean task, particularly due to the rising fuel charges. To add to the misery, schools have started and children have different schedules for various activities. So, many patients who are working mothers are facing a tough time juggling between their work life and family commitments.”
In the WFH pattern, being at home gave the women the liberty of keeping an eye on other responsibilities. These majorly included feeding the kids and picking them from school. But now they are concerned about how they will handle changed schedules. This tug of war has led to a whole different kind of emotional challenge called workplace anxiety.
What is workplace anxiety?
Well, people may experience anxiety from time to time. However, workplace anxiety is the new demon deteriorating one’s mental health. Performance anxiety mixed with the fear of losing a job has combined into a stressful situation at the workplace.
“Since many people are back to work after a long time, facing the seniors in tiring meetings itself may be stressful. Plus, the anxiety caused by the traveling woes is definitely an add-on. During the Covid-19 pandemic, many lost their jobs and experienced a salary cut which made meeting ends a difficult feat to achieve. Therefore, another thing that may escalate anxiety is the fear of a salary cut and fear of job loss,” adds Dr Kumavat.
Here’s how to deal with workplace anxiety:
1. Time management
For many, it is better said than done. However, making certain changes in your schedule may avoid that last minute rush. We have spoken about meal planning in advance on HealthShots. This is an easy practice that will save you time and give you enough time at hand to enjoy your life. Fix a time for activities that you do. This way, you will not feel guilty about missed joys and opportunities in your life.
2. Physical activity
It has been proven that indulging in a physical activity like yoga, cardio or running, can brighten your mental health—especially during these Covid-19 times. Well, if you don’t have time to go to the gym, then just climbing the stairs can do the trick! Once you dedicate some time to your fitness, you will observe a spike in alertness and energy immediately after the activity.
3. Deep breathing exercises
Sometimes, workplace anxiety can manifest in the form of queasiness in the stomach and breathlessness. However, breathing exercises prove to be effective, when you’re having those anxiety attacks. Try to do abdomen breathing by filling the air into your diaphragm. This may calm you down in seconds.
4. Social engagement
Well, friendships and relationships are there for a reason. Do not laze around in your bubble. No matter how comforting it may seem. Engage in conversations, meet new people or just meet the people you bond with. This will take the day off of your mind and help you unwind and feel liberated!
5. Healthy nutrition
Do you know that certain foods can also alleviate the symptoms of anxiety? The nutritional qualities in some foods can shoo away depression and anxiety from you. Gorge on salmon, walnuts, eggs and dark chocolates to give your mood an instant boost!
6. Sleep hygiene practice
A good night’s sleep is equivalent to a good bright day ahead. To feel and perform your best at work, you need to be well rested. It’s important to get a sufficient amount of sleep for various reasons, including a strong mind. If you’re somebody who stays glued to your gadgets to finish off pending work or scroll through social media, you should stop! For the sake of good mental health, relax your overactive mind and set the right sleep routine. It may help you manage anxiety and make a speedier recovery.
Follow these tips if you’re suffering from workplace anxiety. If need be, try to get an expert’s help for it. Listen to your mind when it demands attention.