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Returning To The Office? It’s Okay If You’re Scared

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Returning to the office after a year of remote work can be a daunting prospect.

Erin VanLuven, a psychotherapist at Kaiser Permanente, says it’s important to accept, not judge, your feelings about going back to the office. Whether you’re excited, terrified or both, there’s no “correct” way to feel.

“Try and notice what's actually going on with you and label it,” she says on WYPR’s podcast The Daily Dose.

VanLuven also recommends that you communicate openly with your employer. And if you are going back to the office, try starting with just a few days a week.

“If your employer allows that, I would highly recommend that,” VanLuven says. “Gradual transitions are always much better than shocking our system.”

In turn, VanLuven says employers need to be flexible and transparent with their staff.

“Early, frequent and detailed communication with employees, about what to expect when they return to the office, and what the COVID safety precautions will be, is really, really important,” she says.

VanLuven also says if you’re stressed, activities like walking, meditating, and mindful breathing can help you manage anxiety.

“Really try to focus on their foundations of mental health,” she says.

For WYPR’s full interview with Erin VanLuven, check out the April 21, 2021 edition of The Daily Dose Podcast.