On this episode of Talk Bravely, we talk with our favorite anxiety therapist Michelle Massi. You’ll remember Michelle from one of our first episodes about how she started her own private practice focused on anxiety disorders in the LA area.
Today we’re talking about all things related to Covid-19 and the office. If you’re just starting out in your career world and faced with anxiety around physically going back to an in-person work environment this summer, coming to the realization that you may NEVER work in a physical space again with co-workers and have anxiety over remote work, OR are an essential worker who is still looking for ways to keep anxiety about in-person working at bay, you’re in the right spot.
Here are her top tips for keeping anxiety away:
Acknowledge how you feel. Have self-compassion for those feelings. Make a plan for yourself and base decisions on mental health and CDC guidelines. Be okay with the fact that plans may change. Create a routine for being at home or going in to the office. Share your plans with your partner, roommates, family. Help them understand your decisions. Limit reading about coronavirus to one trusted resource. The CDC is a good resource. Look for the silver linings.
What We’re Talking About: 1:30 - 2:20 Anxiety experts agree that the hardest part for everyone is the uncertainty of coronavirus. We want certainty to make a plan for the future and right now there’s not a lot of certainty.
3:40 Young adults are sharing their anxiousness around changing work expectations. The isolation, particularly for single women, is starting to really impact our lives. There’s a lot of anxiety around wondering if this is forever. People are fighting this question of “I want to have a little less isolation, but what is that going to cost me?”
7:40 Acknowledging the root of the anxiety is a good first step. And self-compassion is also important. Don’t beat yourself up for feeling the way you do. We’ve got a mental health vs. safety issue. Some people are making choices to go out for their mental health while others see it as a safety issue. Only you know what’s best for your health.
13:00 For those who are heading back to in-person work and have anxiety, find one trusted resource that is medically-backed, and use that to help inform the questions in your mind that are causing anxiety. Where possible, talk with your manager.
16:30 Some companies have announced that they are moving to work-from-home permanently. There is anxiety around this cabin fever and a general sense of just wanting to be out and free. Look at your calendar and find ways to interact. We can do both: get out of our houses safely as well as work from home.
Set barriers around social media. It can be a source of anxiousness and self-doubt. Take a social media break, snooze some people, allow yourself to scroll during only certain times.
We know that covid is disproportionately impacting women, whether because we have a higher representation in the medical, education, and hospitality industries, or because caretaking and household responsibilities have escalated during this time. Keep speaking up in your world about what you need to be successful and have positive mental health.
Connect with Michelle:
Michelle’s Anxiety Practice: www.anxietytherapyla.com
Anxiety Links and Tips:
CDC Information about Covid-19 Check your insurance coverage for therapy sessions first and understand your budget for getting support. Most therapists will list their price range. Psychology Today Therapy Den ADAA - Anxiety Depression Association of America IOCDF - International OCD Foundation NEDA - National Eating Disorders Association
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