Tips for Coping with Return to Campus Anxiety
As we begin to return to campus, we may experience various degrees of anxiety about returning to routines that were once comfortable but have now become unfamiliar. Anxiety is a feeling of worry and nervousness about future events and outcomes that seem uncertain/unknown. It usually arises when we begin to focus/think about what “could or may” happen which we usually tie to the worst possible scenario that we can imagine. Below are five strategies that can help ease the return to work anxiety:

  1. Plan ahead to gain a sense of control over a future that is uncertain. For example, schedule your commute time back into your day to help ease into a normal routine, look for new lunch-to-go recipes, prepare your office wardrobe, have a plan in place to address caregiving responsibilities.
  2. Take the time to reflect on your boundaries so you can anticipate how you may respond to different situations at work, such as greeting a co-worker or having lunch. Also, practice what you would say and what you would do in these situations.
  3. Focus on the positives about returning to work to boost your hope and optimism. Think about the co-workers that you have missed and old routines that will be a welcome relief. Also think about the new habits/routines that you have developed which you would like to maintain.
  4. Accept that things will be different and don’t hesitate to reach out to your supervisor, colleagues and family for support to get through the period of adjustment.
  5. Reach out for help if you feel that the anxiety associated with the transition is becoming too much to manage. The Employee and Family Assistance Program can assist you.

Additional supports can also be found on the Employee Mental Health Resources website.
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