Feeling anxious butterflies in the stomach about going back to work?
Posted on 22nd July 2022 at 10:36
For many of us, it's felt like a long time coming…
A whole week of no emails or calls from clients, no urgent jobs that need to be completed yesterday and no more gazing at the sun from your office window. Imagine! Just the warm sun, a cool pool and an all you can eat breakfast buffet.
As August rapidly approaches, the prospect of a holiday abroad is finally becoming a reality for many.
But, after a turbulent few years, the unwelcome anxiety induced by thoughts of returning to work can have a habit of putting a damper on your last few days of holiday.
So how can we stop this from happening so you can enjoy every last second of your time away?
Face the things you’re avoiding
Ignoring how you feel rarely helps a situation. It only increases the intensity of your fearful feelings, making you feel worse.
Taking the time to recognise these negative thoughts and what's causing them is a very powerful step toward freedom from anxiety. By recognising these thoughts you can then use positive affirmations to dismiss the doom mongering negative chatterbox in your head.
For example, if your negative chatterbox is telling you that whilst you are away on holiday your colleagues are undermining you or performing better than you then remind yourself of what your strengths are and what you bring to your job and that you are not defined by what others think of you but by your own values. Remind yourself that you are of high worth and your wellbeing is your top priority. Allowing yourself this time to recharge will improve your performance when you're back in the office.
If the negative chatterbox is trying to make you feel anxious about handing over a specific task to another person, tell it “I can do anything but I can’t do everything”. Remind yourself of these things out loud, and if you’re feeling brave, in front of a mirror.
Meditation centres you back in the here and now and it also helps you step away from automatic negative thoughts by physically putting you in a more relaxed state, away from the fight or flight state your body has slipped into. It helps you step out of being part of the noise or events in our lives and gives us a moment of calm, clarity and perspective. It leaves you without the tunnel vision, heart racing and mind fog of stress that you stepped out of and allows you to see, think clearly again and re-enter your busy day feeling more in control.
If anxious feelings creep in during meditation, that’s OK – just notice then, acknowledge them and pay them no attention.
Get your thoughts out of your head and onto paper
We’ve all experienced that feeling of not wanting to forget something important. And when our brains are in down time on holiday, these great ideas, tactful replies and things we may have forgotten to do last week often have a habit of coming flooding to the surface. Quickly, the pressure not to forget these tasks and the overwhelm of what next week has in store can make you feel that familiar twinge of anxiety.
I often find, though, that the best way to stop my brain from mulling over what next week has in store is to get thoughts out of my head and down on to paper. Whether you write these in a notebook, in the notes app on your phone or email voice memos to yourself, it will make you feel more prepared and give you the basis for a to-do list ready to prioritise when you’re back in the office. With this done you can get back to enjoying that cocktail, sea view, alpine skiing or kite flying you were in the middle of!
If you have recently returned from holiday and are feeling anxious about returning to work, take a look at my Ebook and Self Help Video ‘Escape Anxiety and Find True Freedom’.
Share this post: