When the reality of COVID-19 first set in, the initial concern many of us felt was for our physical wellbeing. But job security also became a fast source of anxiety as countless businesses across countless industries in Canada and around the world shut their doors.
We are now living in a time when the security we once felt around our jobs now feels unstable. For that reason, we need new strategies for managing fears about our futures as we continue working remotely – try using this advice to lessen your uncertainty and focus on staying positive.
Don't Burn Yourself Out
We may be tempted to increase our work output, putting in longer hours or attempting to accomplish more than usual. This isn’t a sustainable approach, however, especially when you consider that the situation won’t change for some time now.
If your work demands feel like they’re increasing and causing you more stress than usual, it is important to first set boundaries for yourself. This includes designating time to relax, unplug, unwind, and take care of your personal life. You may also want to consider setting up a workspace that is fairly separate from your main living area, so you can transition from work mode to home mode easily.
Don't Dwell on the Unknown Future
You may be quite concerned about the state of your job in the weeks and months ahead, however it is important to identify just how realistic your fears are – when we are feeling overly anxious, we tend to make dire predictions about our future.
Instead of worrying about a future you can’t predict, try focusing on the present day and the work tasks you can accomplish in the right now.
Be Mindful of Tempers
In high-stress situations such as this, it is completely normal for many people to experience shorter fuses and greater irritability. There are ways to successfully limit stress-related tempers, however; first, try putting a limit on the amount of news you consume daily – especially in relation to stories about job-loss.
It is also helpful to tune into your body, so you can better identify the physical signs of stress you are experiencing. These may include fatigue, headaches, upset stomach, aches and pains, and even insomnia. By learning the signs your body is giving, you can identify early on when stress is becoming a problem, and then work to lessen it.
Expect Some Confusion
It stands to reason that the one thing we can expect in uncertain times is, well, uncertainty. This extends to our work as well. We are actually quite well equipped to deal with uncertainty better than we might think, yet it is also important to start accepting that some things are beyond our control – our day-to-day at work included.
Instead of worrying about how confusing things may be, or dwelling on miscommunications, accept this as being the case for now, and try refocusing your energy into something you can control – the work in front of you as an example, or how you can offer support other members of your team.
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Job-related stress is never a pleasant thing to experience, but when it happens on such a grand scale, it can be downright nerve-wracking. However, by being mindful of what you can and cannot control, how stress affects you, and setting boundaries, you may find your anxiety lessening even in these trying times.