Fear of Re-entering the Workplace?
The offices, stores, and workplaces are reopening and workers are eager to get back to it! Well, some are. But for some others there is a real fear of going back to work.
A new American Psychiatric Association study found that over half of Americans are still worried about Covid-19 - many even after getting vaccinated. Going back to an office or store where in-person interactions are commonplace might leave some feeling tense about a return to the way things used to be.
After having coined the term “Cave syndrome” and seeing the phenomena play out across the globe, I’ve noticed this development at my practice and others across the country. At first Cave syndrome was about an inability to go out and do basic tasks...now it’s disrupting the return to our very livelihoods!
Cave syndrome sufferers can’t leave home because of fears triggered during the Covid pandemic. They are tethered to the house/apartment/etc.
The syndrome itself can be caused by various factors like pre-existing disorders but can even befall otherwise mentally healthy individuals. Working from home has become a temporary new normal, and getting too attached for any reason provides an impediment to people’s personal lives and maybe even the economy.
Despite being vaccinated and surrounded by responsible trusted individuals, sufferers may still choose to stay home even when their paycheck is on the line. For jobs that require real-time collaboration this can be especially problematic.
A professional workplace and personal vigilance can help calm fears as sanitation and common sense help us take control of our lives during re-entry to the workplace.
But what about some basic themes to keep in mind while overcoming Cave syndrome? At Bregman Medical Group we call it the MAV approach:
Mindfulness - Be mindful of the reasons going back to the office is making you nervous. Is it social anxiety? Fear of contagion? Perhaps talk to others and get different viewpoints on your concerns. The idea here is to manage your stress. Effective actions like deep breathing, daily exercise, solid nutrition, hygiene and a good night's sleep can help you become more resilient.
Attitude - Remember what you loved about your work pre-pandemic. This will help you cultivate a good attitude and a positive state of mind. Keep the world around you light and positive... and that goes for staying connected with positive media. Positivity can lead to better self-help results and a more enjoyable experience of life. It can also give us the get-up-and-go so we don’t delay re-entry!
Vision - Look forward and start to make goals. Have a great inner vision to work towards, know what your work day will look like. Temper uneasy expectations by visualizing the regular, boring return to work with no big disruptions and plenty of proactive safety measures. Envision a routine, the power of being connected, and the value of having a strong purpose in life.
If you really can’t get back to work and it’s causing a problem in your life, please reach out for professional help. Bregman Medical Group has experience treating a variety of disorders. We offer online psychiatry and therapeutic treatment right to your device! Simply contact us at www.bregmanmd.com or call 305-740-3340.