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Webinar: Managing Your Return to Work This Fall

July 26, 2021

This fall, many employers and schools will be back to operating fully in person. Although a positive sign of returning to pre-pandemic normalcy, it may cause feelings of fear and anxiety for many.

“This has been identified as re-entry anxiety,” said Jessica Collins, director of behavioral health for Hartford HealthCare’s Central Region. “This is general anxiety and fear around returning or reentering a workplace that has probably drastically changed in the last 18 months.”

Collins continued by saying that people may feel anxious about safety, social interaction, an increase in workload and change.

“Similar to what we all felt when we went to remote work at the beginning of the pandemic, we are now fearful of going back to work in person and potentially losing that slower pace and more flexible lifestyle we have had,” she said.

For children returning to school full-time, either from a completely remote or hybrid model last year, there may be an increase in anxiety as they adjust to a new routine.

“Just like any muscle in the body, if we don’t use it, we have to rebuild it,” Collins said. “As parents, we should be prepared and prepare our children to have some expected delays in learning or changes to their social skill set.”

Collins advises parents to realize that this is normal and that children will catch up on any learning or social delays.

Whether returning to work or school in person, Collins recommends:

  • Creating a routine that works for you and your family
  • Keeping any change made during the pandemic that made your life better
  • Talking and sharing

“Find supports with your co-workers, family or peers,” she said. “Normalizing those feelings and experiences can make the entire process a little less stressful and bearable.”

To learn more about managing the stress and emotions of returning to work or school, Collins will be offering a free, virtual class Tuesday, Aug. 3, from 12-1 p.m. To register, click here.