Working from home allowed people to continue earning a living without risking exposure to the coronavirus. Many people are concerned that if they are forced to commute by public transportation and spend 9:00 to 5:00 in close quarters with coworkers again, they will be less safe.
However, feelings about returning to the office are not entirely negative. Many people are looking forward to reuniting with coworkers and reestablishing a sense of normalcy in the workplace. Some people are eager to get back to normalcy, particularly if they have been caring for small children at home during working hours, and are craving adult stimulation and routine.
It is completely normal to experience some social anxiety when contemplating returning to the office and interacting with a group of coworkers, expert says. Even if you work hard to make the transition easier, returning to work can be stressful at times. Practicing self-care can help you to deal with the stress of change.
It will take some time to return to normalcy, or to a new normalcy. Be patient with yourself as you adjust. Try not to feel guilty if you are not totally thrilled to be back at work. There will undoubtedly be some desirable things missing, and it is normal to feel a sense of loss.
Just how long the transition takes can vary from person to person. On average, the adjustment period can last anywhere from three weeks to three months.
In the workplace, it’s easy to neglect self-care while we focus on work tasks. Many employees report eating their lunch at their desks or skipping the break entirely, which can lead to increased stress and burnout.
Stock your desk with things that can alleviate stress, such as a stress ball, a calming essential oil diffuser, a favorite snack, or framed photos of your loved ones.
Here are some easiest ways to practice selfcare at work.
- Set your intentions between tasks
In our working days, we can often have a variety of activities to finish, and if we’re not careful we jump over from one to another with such rapid-fire transitions we finish the day exhausted.
Just close your eyes, breathe, and set your intention for the next activity. Consider what you want to achieve and, more importantly, how you want to be.
Setting your intentions is a powerful way as it literally helps create your reality.
- Drink water
To stay hydrated and energised, it is recommended that we drink a half gallon of water per day.
- Say no to projects or tasks you can’t complete
Taking on too much work can result in emotional and physical exhaustion.
- Eat healthy snacks while working
A nutritious diet can improve your mood and make you feel lighter and more energised.
- Make your desk a relaxing space
De-cluttering your workspace can help you focus and feel less stressed.
- Be transparent with your boss about your emotional needs
Keeping your boss informed of your emotional needs can assist them in supporting you.
- Take a Short Walk
Taking a five-minute walk during the workday can improve your health as well as your mood. Furthermore, a change of scenery and pace can assist you creatively when working on difficult tasks or ease a creative block.
- Exercise at Your Desk
There are many easy exercises that can be completed from your desk or break room. Some examples:
- Arm Circles
- Wall Push-Ups
- Wall Sits
- Jump an Invisible Rope
- Do Some Stretches
Advantages of stretching include enhanced flexibility, better posture, and reduced back or shoulder pain. While sitting or standing near your desk, stretch your legs, arms, and neck for a few minutes.
- Use your breaks to detox from work
Treat a break like a break. Instead of working from your desk, take a walk away from it and use that time to recharge.
- Make a close friend at workplace
Friends at work can relate to your specific work struggles and provide assistance throughout the day.
- Don’t let mistakes bring you down
Keep in mind that everyone makes mistakes, so don't be too hard on yourself if you make one.
- Ask for help when you need it
Your co-workers and boss are available for you when you need them, and are a good resource for when you need help.
Reminding yourself that, like working from home, returning to the workplace will become a routine part of your life— one that comes with benefits, as well as some challenges, that will help you strengthen flexibility against the stress of transition.