WINNIPEG –

Leaving the familiarity of the kitchen table to return to the office cubicle can leave many employees with unexpected feelings and emotions.

Fatigue, anxiety, and a feeling that your body just doesn’t want to move are just some of the ways a person’s body can respond to the transition back to personal work.

“Returning to work can be challenging, creating unpredictability, anxiety and just a feeling of not being able to cope with the new normal,” said Rebecca Namunyu Dolyniuk, a registered social worker, therapist and counselor.

Dolyniuk said one should look out for warning signs. Changes in performance and productivity at work, low work ethic, and difficulty concentrating are just a few.

Physical symptoms such as shortness of breath, sweaty palms, and chest tightness may also occur. However, these can vary from person to person.

“If you see them slowing down and not having the same passion, that could be a sign that something is wrong,” said Dolyniuk.

To best manage the transition, Dolyniuk said it is best to take care of our body when it is no longer responding the way it used to.

She said that sometimes help can be found in your social circle, but sometimes it may have to come from a professional.

One useful tip, Dolyniuk says, is to visualize the return to work before it happens. This includes getting a clear picture of commuting, walking down the hall and maybe sitting at your desk.

“Just having one visual script that you can practice over and over until it normalizes in your head, so it’s easier on your body when you actually do it,” Dolyniuk said.