Workplace Wellbeing

Transitioning Back to Work During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Try these techniques for staying grounded and calm if you are returning to the workplace during the coronavirus crisis.

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Spring Health
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    The weeks and months after the coronavirus crisis began led to many sudden changes a rollercoaster of emotions for many of us. Now, some are beginning to face another change: returning our teams to work.

    Is it safe to return to work? What if some of our employees don’t have childcare? These are just some of the urgent questions that are coming up for many HR leaders. Members of your team may be feeling lost, confused, overwhelmed, or exhausted. Here are some tips to help you and your team look at ways to navigate this “new normal”, as we brave stepping outside of the security of our homes to return to work.

    Focus on what you can control

    Focusing on what you can't control can bring on anxiety and panic. Instead, focus on and put your energy towards the things you can control. For example, you cannot control others’ consistent use of hand sanitizer, but you can control your own. Take charge of what you can.

    Acknowledge your thoughts and feelings

    Your thoughts and feelings—whatever they may be—are valid. Recognizing this can be a powerful tool. It is also helpful to recognize where in your body you might be harboring a specific thought or feeling. Use that recognition as a signal to practice mindfulness and come back to your body and the present moment.

    Practice grounding techniques

    Feeling anxious or having a tough time being in the present moment? Practice a grounding mindfulness exercise, wherever you are. Perhaps it’s a sensory grounding technique. What are you tasting, what are you hearing, what are you smelling, what are feeling (with touch), and what are you seeing? Once you are able to come to the present moment, you will be better able to engage in what you are doing and shift your focus to that.

    Practice breathing

    When we are hit with a stressful situation, our breathing is usually impacted. Calming breathing techniques can help ease such autonomic responses during stressful situations. To make focused breathing new habit, try attaching it to something you already do, such as brushing your teeth. Every time you brush your teeth, spend a minute focusing on your breath. Breathe in for six seconds, then breathe out for six. Repeat and adjust to what feels right.

    Understand your values

    Having a strong sense of what you stand for can be helpful as you transition back into the workplace. What are your values? What kind of person do you want to be? Understanding and committing to your values may help you reconnect with yourself and navigate uncomfortable feelings, emotions, or situations you may find yourself in during this transition.

    Be kind to yourself

    Self-compassion is important for your overall wellbeing. Ask yourself—am I treating myself the way I would a loved one? Practicing a loving-kindness meditation a few times a week can be useful to bring love and kindness to yourself and those around you. Self-compassion allows us to spread compassion to those around us, which will inevitably be an important part of navigating.

    Spring Health offers employers a comprehensive solution for their teams’ mental wellbeing. Our proprietary assessment leverages AI to create a personalized care plan for each patient, with solutions ranging from digital exercises to coaching, therapy, or medication. This approach, known as Precision Mental Healthcare, ensures each patient receives the right care from the start, and is proven to accelerate recovery. Learn more about Spring Health and request a demo to find out what we can do for your team.

    About the Author
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    Spring Health

    Spring Health is a comprehensive mental health solution for employers and health plans. Unlike any other solution, we use clinically validated technology called Precision Mental Healthcare to pinpoint and deliver exactly what will work for each person—whether that’s meditation, coaching, therapy, medication, and beyond. Today, Spring Health supports over 4,500 organizations, from startups to multinational Fortune 500 corporations, and is a preferred mental health provider to companies like General Mills, Bain, and DocuSign.

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