We’re sharing our top 5 tips to support your staff if they’re affected by post-lockdown anxiety.
As lockdown restrictions ease, it’s very common to experience a mixture of emotions.
Undoubtedly, many people will be really looking forward to seeing work colleagues in person, heading to the pub or getting back in the gym.
However, the prospect of adjusting back to yet another new way of life will make many others feel overwhelmed, anxious or nervous. Mental health charities have already raised concern about this important issue.
There may be people in your organisation that you believe are experiencing these emotions. By using the following tips, you should be in a better place to support them with any post-lockdown anxiety.
1. Accept your feelings
It’s important that we all recognise feelings of anxiety, uncertainty and fear during this time are completely understandable.
Encourage anyone experiencing anxiety to be kind to themselves, and help them recognise that these feelings are a natural response to what we’ve all just been through.
2. Take it one step at a time
Just as it took time to adjust to lockdown, it will also take time to adjust back.
Some in your organisation may feel overwhelmed, and that’s normal. Don’t rush things – for yourself or your staff. Encourage your team to ease themselves out of lockdown one step at a time.
This will help those suffering from post-lockdown anxiety to gently move through their apprehension.
3. Focus on the present
As a leader, you need to be honest with those around you: it’s going to be very difficult to predict where we go from here.
Luckily, by focussing on the present, we can respond to actual events rather than worrying about things that may not even happen.
At work, you may want to encourage others to focus on the present challenges or tasks – and save your longer term plans for later, when everyone is more settled in this new way of life.
4. Go at your own pace
Your people are far more likely to feel anxious if they feel like they’re out of control.
Avoid dictating to anyone how to adjust to the new normal. If they don’t yet feel comfortable going to the gym, or meeting five friends at a pub, they don’t have to.
Keep this in mind at work too: be conscious that your pace may differ from those around you.
5. Ease yourself back into socialising
It’s common to feel anxious about social situations after so long in lockdown. Some of your employees may feel the same way.
You may want to rush off for a team lunch in your first few weeks back, but first check in on your team – are they comfortable with that?