3 tips to ease your anxiety about commuting again
Are you nervous about taking the subway to work again? Does the thought of sitting next to a stranger on your bus route give you anxiety? Are you staying home from work because you are fearful you may catch the coronavirus and give it to a family member or friend? If so, you’re not alone.
More than 4 million adults were not working during the month of March because they were fearful of getting COVID-19 or giving it to someone else, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The American Psychological Association surveyed more than 3,000 people in February, with 49 percent saying they felt uneasy about interacting with other people again once the pandemic was over.
Even though people are starting to enjoy life again all thanks to the vaccine, it can still be worrisome to head back to the office. If you are heading back, here are some tips to ease your fear of commuting.
1 – Understand your options
While many companies have adopted the hybrid model for work, each one will do things differently. Get as much information as you can from your employer about the options they are giving employees. They should be able to tell you about schedules, in-house social distancing, anti-COVID measures, PPE for employees, and what science they used to come up with the plan. For commuting, they should provide you with options like mass transit, parking, micromobility vehicles, and more.
2 – Get ready for the commute now
Do you remember what it’s like to commute in rush hour? It probably wasn’t that easy, even for an experienced commuter. Now is the time to start getting back into your routines to help with sleep and mood.
Practice makes perfect. You can start doing practice runs of your commute to get back into the groove. You’ll also want to make sure your old trains, buses, and ferries run on the exact schedules as many have changed.
3 – Lean on your coping mechanisms
Once you get going, it could be a stressful experience. If you get anxious during your commute, you’ll want to have a way to calm down. Practice deep breathing, meditation, and muscle relaxation techniques. Listen to your favorite podcasts or music.
Remember that you’ve changed since the pandemic first started, so give yourself a break if it is hard for you to start commuting again.
It’s also good to use commuter benefits if you are going to be commuting again. Ask your employer if your office can offer them if not currently available. Commuter benefits allow you to save money tax-free in your paycheck to spend on commuting costs like mass transit, qualified parking, and rideshares. Your employer will save money on payroll tax too.
For more information, book a meeting with us to see what we can do for you.