A Millennial Mental Health Therapist’s Top 5 Strategies for Dealing with Anxiety When Returning to the Office

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By: Melissa Schenkman, MPH, MSJ

The story below is a part of  YMyHealth’s Making a Healthy Office Comeback series. As more millennials return to the office or transition to hybrid work schedules in 2022, we will be highlighting the concerns and health challenges Generation Y tells us they are facing and feature advice from millennial experts on how to maintain your healthy habits.

Jason Phillips, LCWS, is a 37-year-old mental health therapist and life coach. He runs his own private practice, Peace & Prosperity Coaching, where he helps he uses evidence-based treatments to help clients achieve success in the areas of mental health and wellness.

When Jason Phillips, LCSW, entered the field of psychology 11 years ago, he was initially inspired by his curiosity of how it was possible that some people were able to manage life’s stressors without any issues; yet, for others a traumatic event seemed to disrupt their lives.

Right now, for so many millennials, life seems to be one, long series of disruptions. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the picture of what our work life was, and the idea of going back to an office—whether on a hybrid schedule or full time—seems daunting after many of us have become accustomed to working from home.

I know that I speak for so many friends when I say that the very mention of an update at company staff meetings providing new dates for returns to the office, send a soaring amount of emotions through employees’ hearts and minds. Many are worried about how you can possibly make that transition with your mental health intact. 

Whenever your company does call you to return to the office in any form, here are five of strategies for dealing with anxiety that you can use courtesy of Phillips, who is a fellow millennial too.

#1 Express your concerns

Be direct with your superiors and colleagues. Don’t shy away from it; communicate what your thoughts are.

#2 Journal

Journal your thoughts and feelings because there may be some things you don’t want to share with your boss, your friends or family, but you need to get them out. Journaling will help you do that.

#3 Practice mindfulness exercises

This can look like specific breathing exercises or could be guided meditation. Either way, commit to practicing mindfulness on a regular basis so your overall baseline anxiety is lower.

#4 Keep up with your physical activity

Exercise is known to manage anxiety and depression. So, when you have an exercise routine (it doesn’t have to be a rigorous one), the outcomes are on your side since you are going to be less anxious and less depressed.

#5 Have a strong support system

Have people around you who you can trust who you can talk to and who can support you. And be open to receiving that help.

To learn more about the mental health challenges millennials are facing about work and the pandemic, and solutions to overcome them visit our Making a Healthy Office Comeback page.

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