Fear of returning to work after childbirth

The exceptional situation we find ourselves in due to the coronavirus pandemic is problematic, among other things, as it forces us to adapt to a changing reality in which many variables come into play.

Many people find it difficult to cope with situations for which there is no precedent in recent decades; until a few months ago, hardly anyone wondered what to do in the context of contamination due to the risk of infection.

One of these problems that can arise is having to deal with a feeling of fear of returning to work as the containment de-escalates. In this article, we will see what to do in such a situation.

    The fear of returning to work after childbirth: a complex problem

    In an economic crisis, having emotional problems related to work is particularly painful. This is why those who feel fear, insecurity or even anguish at the thought of being back in the workplace they may feel like the situation is overwhelming them: The context is already quite turbulent, and to this we must add an emotional alteration that affects the way he behaves professionally.

    Fear can come from different causes: The expectation of facing a lot of intensity, the feeling that the risk of dismissal is approaching, the fact of being exposed to other people, etc. Sometimes what scares you is the idea of ​​not being able to postpone everything that has to do with work indefinitely and pretend not to think about what is going to happen in the professional and economic sphere of our life. .

    On the other hand, another complication that comes along with this problem is the fact that those who suffer from it in their own flesh tend to feel misunderstood.

    After weeks where the general climate has been to want to be able to go out freely and reopen business as usual, the anguish at the prospect of a return to work seems somewhat eccentric, if not a sign of weakness, of too delicate a character. . however, emotional imbalance really exists, And there are reasons to take it seriously wherever it appears.

    What to do?

    Here are some tips you can follow if you think you are afraid to return to work after pandemic containment is over.

    1. Maintain discipline in sleep schedules

    It is very important to do everything possible to this anxiety doesn’t make us sleep less than our body needs. This will greatly increase our predisposition to develop more emotional psychological problems, and in addition, within a few days of sleep, it will significantly affect our performance.

    Set a schedule for what time you should be in bed with the light off, and follow it in a disciplined manner. Also, for a few hours before that time of day arrives, do not fall into situations that keep your nervous system active – or exercising, or exposure to a lot of light or sound, if possible.

      2. Practice relaxation exercises

      To keep fear, anxiety and the emotional states associated with them at bay, it is very useful to practice relaxation exercises. It will only take you a few minutes, And you can find audios that guide you through Youtube videos and mobile apps.

      3. Practice exercises of exposure to the imagination

      One way to deal with situations that frighten us is to close our eyes and recreate in our imaginations what it is like to expose ourselves to what we fear. It is best to do some testing first practice as you imagine everything in the most vivid way possible, Then imagine more and more anxiety-provoking situations, following a curve of difficulty that gradually rises.

      4. Take care of yourself

      If our body is not doing well, our emotional balance will not be either. Exercise moderately to keep your mind active and with the ability to “lift off” these fears, and eat well so that your body is better able to cope with stressful situations without suffering a lot of wear and tear.

      5. If you need it, see your psychologist

      Each person is different and some may need personalized help from a psychologist to follow up their case. The good news is that psychological disorders related to anxiety are relatively easy to treat.

      Do you need the help of a psychologist?

      As we have seen, being afraid to return to work involves many variables and is a complex phenomenon.

      Therefore, if you notice that in your case this advice is not enough, you think the situation is beyond you and you need the professional support of a psychologist, contact me. I am a psychologist specializing in the cognitive-behavioral model and I can help you develop your emotional management skills; I attend both in person and through online video calls. To see my contact details, go to this page.

      Bibliographical references:

      • American Psychiatric Association (2014). DSM-5. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Madrid: Panamericana.
      • Barlow, DH (2000). Unravel the mysteries of anxiety and its disorders from the point of view of the theory of emotions. The American psychologist. 55 (11): pages 1247 to 1263.
      • Nestadt, G .; Samuel, J .; Riddle, MA; Liang, KI et al. (2001). The Relationship Between Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Anxiety and Affective Disorders: Findings from the Johns Hopkins OCD Family Study. Psychological medicine 31.

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