As lockdown eases, as people are returning to work, as we are being told to expect a “new normal” I know from the people & clients to whom I’m talking, that getting back into the swing of things is proving quite tough for many.
For those who have been off work and are now returning, getting your head in the right place, ramping up the motivation and refocusing will feel like a huge effort. Even if you are ready to return to work, looking forward to getting back to it, we’ve had a period of time where we haven’t necessarily been governed by the same deadlines.
If you’re physically having to return to your place of work, you’ll be having to consider how you get there? What it’s going to entail? How you will work in a different environment maybe with a completely different set up to allow social distancing etc? If you’re to continue to work from home, how does that work for you? Have you got the right space/set up to work from that allows you to switch off at the end of the working day and obviously there are the childcare issues with those of you that have children who are not returning to school before September?
Once again, I will say these words to you……”be kind to yourself.” We will now all be going through yet another period of adjustment, not one we chose, not one we might like very much but we will need to adjust, certainly for the immediate future. So what can you do to get back into the groove?
- Firstly, keep reminding yourself that many others will be going through exactly the same process so if you are finding it difficult, you are not being daft, you are not being pathetic (something one of my clients claimed to be this week) and you’re certainly not alone. Talk to people, talk to your boss, your associates – ask them what their coping strategies are?
- Don’t take on too much. What I mean by this is that there is every chance you will feel physically tired for the first few weeks even if you don’t do a physical job – mentally getting back or into an old or a new routine will take it out of you. Don’t commit to more than you need to do outside of work at least until you feel a little more settled.
- Research your options. If you need to go to the office, how will you get there? What’s the safest route? Have you got enough hand sanitiser? Is there anything else that is making you anxious? Anxiety is tiring, planing will help lessen anxiety. If you’re working from home and that appears to be for the foreseeable future, what do you now need to put in place that maybe you just told yourself that you could “make do with” during lockdown? Is there anything your company/place of work could help you with?
- Support network. Who have you got around you that you can ask for help from should you need it albeit currently we have limited options? Is there a friend in a similar situation that you can talk through your anxieties with? Have the teachers at your children’s school been supportive? Do they know that you’re trying to work from home? Talk to people, share with them your situation to allow them to support you.
- Practical stuff. Get into the habit of having a planning evening (day if that’s better for you). Meal plan – it will help you shop and it will be less stressful during your working week. Even if at the moment you need to plan in when you do the laundry or other household tasks. Do whatever it takes to keep the balls you are juggling, firmly in the air.
- Headspace. For many, not all, being able to enjoy some headspace and maybe a slightly slower pace of life has been hugely beneficial so now it is even more important to try and find it. maybe get up slightly earlier to enable you to have a cup of tea in the garden on your own? Where could you schedule in a walk during your day – lunchtime? When you get home from work or finish work, rather than plonk yourself down in front of the tv get outside even for half and hour and just stop…..breathe and take notice of your surroundings. If everyone needs to wait for their evening meal, it won’t do any harm.
You will find your own rhythm.
You will get your mojo back.
You will get back into the groove…….
It might take time and that’s okay. You might want to do things differently and that’s okay too. You might even start out on this plan for a new normal and find out you need to readjust the plan to suit you better and all of this is ok.
You are doing great!