As vaccinations become more common, and people begin to return to a more “normal” life, some offices are beginning to make plans for a return to in-person work. Many people have struggled mentally in the past year, only to find themselves comfortable in a new at-home routine. Since it’s been a while that you may be used to working with your cat on your lap, you may be a little worried about going back in person.
If you’re struggling with stress when it comes to re-openings and going back to in-person work, learn more about managing that here: https://www.mind-diagnostics.org/blog/stress. Here are some additional tips and tricks to help you ease out of the work-from-home mindset.
Get Some Supplies
Though you may have gotten used to working in your sweatpants, it may be time to dig in the back of your closet for your old work clothes. It may be a good idea to look into some new outfits or supplies that could make you feel more excited about returning to work, and that will make you feel fresh and in control. For some people that may be getting a new thermos to bring their lunches, and for others that may just be a new pair of shoes.
In addition, if there’s anything you may need for an office environment, it’s a good idea to prepare yourself ahead of time. Maybe that’s a framed picture of the cat I mentioned earlier for your desk, or a pack of sticky notes that will make you feel organized. Anything you can get yourself that’s going to make you feel confident going back into the office is worth the investment.
Ease Into It
Many employers are purposely creating hybrid-style arrangements for their workplaces so that employees can ease into being in-person. It’s also possible your boss will offer you the choice of whether or not you want to return to work at all. It’s completely your choice if you feel safe returning to work while there are still risks posed, or if you mentally don’t feel ready.
If your employer hasn’t outwardly expressed this opportunity to you, find a way to bring it up. They may be happy to work out a game plan for you that’s going to allow you to feel the most comfortable. As much as you may feel vulnerable making a request like that, you have to put your physical, mental and emotional health first.
Be Kind To Yourself
It’s been a long year. Take time to be kind to yourself as you get back into a new routine. Make sure to actively make space in your life to do things that make you happy outside of work, and enjoy moments with loved ones as much as possible. Now that you may not need to use your home office as much, there’s potential to use that space for other self-care related things.
There’s no doubt that work is a big part of our lives, but it’s not our whole lives. Do your best not to let the new hustle and bustle of returning to work be the only thing on your mind. Keep taking time to be in nature, stretch, stay hydrated and unplug from the outside world. It may be tempting to put all your focus on making a good first impression when you get back, but remember that the more secure you are in yourself, the better your work life will become.
I promise you that you aren’t the only one feeling this way returning to work, and having open conversations with your co-workers can be a great way to feel connected and validated. The transition may feel awkward at first, but soon it will feel like you can be back to your old amazing self.