ReboundManaging the Pressure


Learning how to deal with return to work anxiety

Posted at 5:49 PM, Jun 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-18 20:56:48-04

The current financial crisis due to COVID-19 has left many people unemployed, feeling frustrated & helpless in a time of extreme vulnerability. 23ABC's Daniela Garrido spoke with a local therapist on how employers can address fears of employees going back to work.

Many have heard the term "Sunday Scaries" before. It's the anxiety someone feels on a Sunday when thinking of the upcoming work week. Well now, with employees headed back to work, after months of working from home, that "Sunday Scary" feeling has become even more present.

"If you're starting to notice your mind turn toward the 'what if's' and worrying about a potential scenario in your head excessively. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. And if you're out of context with your thoughts most of the day," explained Jessican Avencena, an Aspire Behavioral Health therapist.

Hands-on industry employers are feeling stuck between a rock and hard place, making the decision to go back to work and potentially expose themselves to the virus or stay home and lose a steady income.

"We've heard everything from people who are having a hard time transitioning back to work and we have patients that have coming in precisely to learn techniques to go back into a customer-facing capacity or any kind of capacity and the stressors that come with handling whats going on in the world right now," said Avencena.

A local therapist recommends employers apply mindful practices to their workplace.

"We know that coping skills are effective, breathing and relaxation is evidence-based to help with stress reduction and we are not just going to learn about it but also practice it."

Aspire Behavioral Health plans to launch a free seminar for local employers that will focus on addressing anxiety and implementing mindful practices in the workplace during this time.

"We're actually developing a free employee wellness program to address some of these issues. Starting July 9th every Thursday at noon this will be open for employers who are having their employees come back and are struggling in the workforce with this anxiety regarding the virus."

These resources are usually guaranteed to employees in bigger cities.

"San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York. Employers are moving toward wellness programs that heavily include a quiet room or training on mindfulness that help reduce these stressors."