Returning to Work

 

Hi, everybody. I’m Mike Staver. This is Mondays with Mike, a weekly video series where I answer questions from people just like you. Here’s this week’s question.

“I’m returning from a leave of absence, I have anxiety about returning to work. Interestingly, I do not have to go to the OFFICE in capital letters, but I am going back to work. I don’t understand I am a strong, independent person, but this has me confused as to why I feel so much discomfort. What do you suggest for reentry.”

Do not go from zero to 60, that’s the first thing I suggest. Don’t just jump all the way in the water. If you have the option not to come back to work all at once, but come back from the leave of absence, it does not say how long this leave of absence was. I generally tell my clients that if you’re coming back from a leave of absence, or you have an employee coming back from a leave of absence, you should weigh them into the pool slowly. Don’t just have them jump right back in and I think that would be my suggestion for you as well.

Come back for a day, come back for two days, the next week, maybe two and a half days, get back in the pool slowly, because that’s going to create a little bit easier reentry. The second thing I suggest is that you have a lot of anxiety, I’d encourage you to evaluate what it is you’re afraid of happening. Remember, you guys heard me say a thousand times remember that anxiety is a prediction about what’s about to happen. It’s not a prediction about what is happening. You want to get yourself back in the process of evaluating what is it you feel anxiety about, that’s very, very important, very critical to you.

Then what will your coping skills be. Make sure you’re meditating, doing gratitudes in the morning, doing all those kinds of things. First, identify the trigger for the anxiety, what are you afraid is going to happen, and then create a plan for what you will do if that thing happens and I think that would be the best way for re-entry. A little bit at a time, evaluate what you’re anxious about. Create a plan for coping with the thing you’re anxious about, and then get back in the pool as you are ready.

Hope that’s helpful.

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