Many people are heading back to work with anxiety in their chest and fear on their minds as they try to assimilate into the “new normal.” The stress of an invisible illness is more than enough to make people feel on-edge. Couple that with the pressure of work-related issues, and it can be downright overwhelming. Here are five tips to help you accept the new normal as work starts back up.
Focus on yourself
If many people frequent your workplace, don’t drive yourself crazy by trying to micromanage everyone. Don’t let worrying about what your coworkers are doing work you up, and don’t let their dangerous behavior infiltrate your safe spaces, both the mental and physical ones. All you can do is focus on how to protect yourself best. Wear your mask, keep your distance, wash your hands, and you’ll be good to go.
If people are engaging in unsanitary and reckless behavior, it’s okay to say that it makes you uncomfortable. If you aren’t comfortable with people pulling their masks down to speak to you – say that. If you don’t want people getting too close to you – address that. If you speak up, at least people will know how to behave around you, so that you can feel comfortable and safe.
Keep your workspace sanitary
We can’t control others. We can only control ourselves. Make sure to keep hand sanitizer, alcohol sprays, and masks in your area. It’s not ridiculous to spray your area with Lysol or to wipe your working area down at the end of each day. Be mindful of your actions, and make sure that you are keeping your space as germ-free and comfortable as possible.
Know your boundaries
Admit to yourself that certain work activities and commitments will be too stressful for you. If you’re uncomfortable having lunch in the lunchroom, opt to have lunch in the office. If you don’t want people hanging around your desk, say that. The social distancing aspect of coronavirus has been a tough hurdle for many to jump. If you have gotten used to keeping your distance from people, there’s no reason to switch up the dynamic.
Accept this as the new normal
Coronavirus reared its ugly head in December of 2019, and as of now, there are no signs of it letting up. Yes, individual countries and businesses within those countries are opening back up, but life may not ever go back to what we once knew. Work on becoming comfortable with wearing masks most of the time, continually using hand sanitizer, and social distancing. Be easy on yourself if you make mistakes. Eventually, you will get used to this, and you will feel comfortable again.