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Stress About Returning to Work: Overcoming COVID Anxiety


As the challenges of the pandemic continue, a newly emerging stress seems to be centered around returning to the office. In San Francisco, where anxiety and work already seem to go hand in hand, COVID has only intensified this relationship. Burnout and stress in San Francisco are only too common but there are ways to alleviate these overwhelming feelings. To help, in addition to searching for “therapy near me” try these useful tips to reduce your return to work anxiety. 


Be Curious 

One skill we try to teach our clients at Good Therapy SF is how to interact with anxiety thoughts in a useful way. Often, the natural urge is to indulge or perseverate on worry thoughts. Clients will often say “Sometimes I just can’t stop thinking about it.” This constant rumination can cause all sorts of problems, including stress and burnout. 

One solution to this issue is to be curious. Interestingly, the act of intentionally being curious about our anxiety has been shown to help reduce stress and burnout thoughts. What does being curious look like? 

It can be as simple as telling yourself “isn’t it interesting that I’m thinking about this right now?”  or asking yourself “I wonder why this is coming up for me right now?” It is important not to get stuck on asking the “right” question, but rather any question that will help you to step back from the thoughts you are having. This will force you to look at your stress and burnout thoughts differently. 


Healthy Daily Habits

Not to be overlooked, is the importance of healthy habits to manage stress and burnout. In our practice, we’ve found that clients that integrate CBT skills in combination with healthy habits are able to reach their goals faster. So if you are searching for “therapy near me” in hopes of finding a therapist in San Francisco, don’t forget to focus on these healthy habits as well!

Sleep: The importance of sleep cannot be underestimated. The amount of research emphasizing how important sleep is to managing stress, burnout, and mood is continually growing. If you are having difficulty with sleep try waking up at the same time every day, keeping your room cool, and avoiding screens about an hour before bedtime. 

Exercise: Equally important to sleep is exercise. At Good Therapy SF we always incorporate some type of movement into a client’s treatment plan. When clients are able to break a sweat for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, we’ve found that the learned CBT skills become even more impactful. 

Time Management: Some of the most intense stress and burnout issues are caused by trouble with time management. Often the issue is due to an increasing level of responsibility from work and home, in addition to poor time management during off-hours. While often this can be a larger issue, one area to consider is how you can use your free time more effectively. 


A Final Word

Our San Francisco therapists are well trained to treat depression, mood issues, anxiety, and other mental health challenges. If you think you might be suffering from some of these symptoms please feel free to reach out through our contact page.

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