Another “new normal” is starting to set in with people across the country heading back in to work after months in quarantine due to COVID-19.
There are new rules in effect depending on your place of employment that may include wearing a mask, following arrows to move about your office, and sitting at opposite ends of a conference table. With so many new guidelines in place and the ever-present threat of future spikes in COVID-19 cases, the idea of heading back to work in a location other than home may cause anxiety in some employees.
“Anxiety is a normal reaction to uncertainty and things that may harm us”. The virus is a valid reason to feel some degree of anxiousness. There is still very little known about the virus itself or a treatment/vaccine. "Uncertainty and unpredictability can really create an unhealthy amount of fear and stress, especially when it's sustained over such a long period of time," according to Dr. K. Luan Phan, head of psychiatry and behavioral health at Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center in Columbus.
Stating the Facts
It isn’t just fear of catching the virus that is causing some workers to stay home. Although that is the main reason, in a recent survey conducted by PwC, an accounting firm with over 275,000 employees worldwide, half of respondents stated that they were reluctant to use public transportation when commuting to and from work. Others said that parental responsibilities would keep them from going back to work if schools and daycares were still closed.
Another stress inducing factor is not returning work, which in turns results in not receiving a paycheck or health insurance benefits. People who are at a higher risk of catching COVID-19 such as the immunocompromised, do not feel comfortable working and putting their health at risk.
“Many of my patients feel that they don’t have a choice,” Dr. Faoud Ishmael, an immunology specialist at Mount Nittany Medical Center in Centre County Pennsylvania said, adding that some of his patients rely on employer-based health insurance to pay for the medications that keep them healthy.
Ways to Relieve Anxiousness and Stress
There are many ways to relieve stress. Some common ways are deep breathing, getting enough sleep, and moving your body either by stretching or exercising.
During the lifespan of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are a few more you can try according to the CDC:
- Know what to do if you become sick or are worried about Covid-19 – contacting a health professional is the best first step
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories surrounding the virus – hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting
- Connect with others – this may be difficult while social distancing, however talking to a friend on the phone or online video can lift your spirit
Don't forget the Essentials of Essential Oils
Essential oils have been used for centuries for stress relief. Some essential oils, such as lavender, have been shown to interact the same way biochemically that many anti-anxiety medications do on neuroreceptors.
Beekley Medical’s Elequil Aromatabs® are an easy to use way to incorporate the benefits of clinical aromatherapy into your back to work plan.
Using 100% pure essential oils, lavender, lavender-peppermint, lavender-sandalwood, and orange-peppermint, each self-adhesive Elequil aromatab provides 8 or more hours of personalized aromatherapy to help you go about and get through your day.