Returning back to work after months of wfh or being furloughed can feel understandably overwhelming. Rationally we know it’ll be fine, but our brains love to overthink everything that could go wrong. Getting back into the swing of commuting to navigating your new socially distanced office all while doing your job is a lot. We know you’ll smash it but to calm your nerves we’ve come up with six tips for dealing with that back-to-work anxiety inspired by our friends at Mind. Head to their website for lots more information and helpful resources. You’ve got this!

We all started lockdown with good intentions but inevitably slipped up. It’s time to break those bad habits and replace them with healthier ones that set you up for success. Let’s tackle the sleep routine. If you start work in a week, try and get up 10 minutes earlier each day until you break the cycle and that early rise for work feels like a breeze. Set yourself a regular bedtime and ban Netflix after 10pm. Sorry!

So boring, we know, but if it saves panic making sandwiches in the morning it’s worth it in our eyes. Before you start back at the office sit down and plan your food for the week. Try out a new recipe to make it interesting and make sure you have plenty of yummy snacks. This way you’ll save money, be healthier and just feel more in control overall.

Retail therapy is real people! It’s not a long term solution but that dopamine hit that shopping brings can help distract you and even turn your anxiety into excitement. It’s not guaranteed but sometimes readjusting your brain to look forward to work rather than fearing it can do the trick. Treat yourself to a few work bits, maybe a new coffee cup or some smart shoes for an instant mood boost to replace any uneasy feelings.

If you’re worried about commuting, calm your nerves by doing a practise run of your normal route to work before your first day. Get used to being on public transport and make sure you’re stocked up with face masks, so you’re not caught out. The RI face coverings are the perfect option for staying safe and looking stylish on route to work. Practise makes perfect so top up your travel card and get going!

Have a few calming tricks up your sleeve to use if work gets too overwhelming. Sometimes anxiety comes out of the blue and when this happens it helps to know what makes you calm. Pinpoint what works in your normal self-care routine and bring it with you to work. Whether that’s listening to a podcast, calming music or getting stuck into a book, stop your racing heart in its tracks and embrace the zen.

A cliché but a cliché for a reason. Sometimes the very act of saying how you’re feeling out loud can make you feel better. Whether you tell a friend about your work worries or you let your manager know how you’re feeling, we promise that it’ll help lessen your anxiety. Get rid of those overwhelming ‘what if’ thoughts by getting answers to your questions. Ask your manager how they plan to look after you and your colleagues for instant peace of mind and clarity.