Many of us are feeling a little apprehensive about returning to work after over a year of remote working. It’s not just about health concerns anymore, even though they do encompass a wide spectrum of stress and complications. Now, many of us have become so accustomed to our own space or small circle that the thought of meeting face to face again can be overwhelming. As we emerge from the most recent phase of the pandemic, many people are reporting feelings of anxiety in public places or real-life interactions. Some have people have been in isolation for the entirety of the pandemic, which makes this prospect even more intimidating.
On top of this, there's also the fear of getting back into your routine and how to manage time effectively. Getting up early, getting ready, driving to work, sitting in traffic, picking up or dropping off children, shopping, housework, and so on, can all feel a little too much to handle. However, one very important thing to remember is you’re not alone. That’s why we want to share some simple tricks and tips to keep you calm now we’re heading back to work.
We’ve already discussed the benefits of breathing exercises. According to psychologists, breathing is the number one technique to reduce anger or anxiety fast. This is because when you’re anxious you tend to take quick, shallow breaths. This sends a message to your brain, creating a feedback loop that triggers your fight-or-flight response. That’s why taking long, deep calming breaths disrupts that loop and helps you calm down.
If you’re faced with a situation that makes you feel anxious, ask yourself some grounding questions. For example, “How important is this?” or “Will this matter to me this time next week?” or “Am I going to allow this person or situation to get the better of me?” This allows you to shift the focus of your thinking and give yourself a reality check. This is because when we’re anxious, we tend to fixate on the cause and this can make you feel a bit irrational. Asking yourself some simple, reasonable questions can help you refocus.
When you’re anxious, it can feel like every muscle in your body is tense – and let’s face it, they probably are. Physiotherapists suggest progressive muscle relaxation is a good strategy to help you calm down. To do this, lie down with your arms by your side and your legs outstretched. Start at your toes and tell yourself to release them. Gradually move up your body, telling yourself to release or relax each part until you get to your head. Or, if you don’t have the space or privacy to do this, a key site for the physical manifestations of stress is the shoulders. Make sure they’re dropped, relaxed and roll them back to release tension.
The temperature and ventilation in a room can increase anxiety or stress. If you’re feeling tense and the room you’re in is hot and stuffy, it will only make things worse. Take yourself out of that environment as soon as possible and go outside, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Post-pandemic, getting out for some fresh air isn’t going to be frowned upon, as we all know how important that’s been over the last 18 months.
Breathing is key to our emotional and physical well-being. Rejuvenair knows breathing deep and getting safe air into your lungs is important – that’s why we’re committed to clean air. Click here to learn more.