Millions of people transitioned to home offices as the COVID-19 pandemic hit. If you were among those workers, you know that the time to return to a traditional office is getting closer. Chances are your routine, and that of your family, has been drastically altered by remote work and school, and transitioning back to an office won't be easy. However, there are some things you can do to make it a little less disruptive.
1. Improve Your Self Care
Health has been at the top of mind for a lot of people. Unfortunately, having your daily routine upended isn't the best for maintaining a healthy schedule. Now is the time to ramp up your self-care routine and help boost your natural immunity to illness. Increase your physical activity. Aim for about 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise on most days of the week. At the same time, cut back on processed and junk foods. Focus on increasing the amount of plant-based foods in your diet instead. This will help improve heart and gut health, reduce inflammation and support immune responses.
2. Prepare Your Family Members
You aren't the only one in your household that will be affected by a return to work. Younger kids may have gotten used to having a parent at home and may feel confusion, anxiety or resentment. Talk to them ahead of time and explain that things are starting to return to normal so that, hopefully, they will be able to see friends and schoolmates soon, too.
If you have jumped on the shelter pet bandwagon during shutdowns, you will also need to prepare any furry family members for the upcoming shift. Start getting dogs on a regular walking schedule to minimize accidents while you are away. Feed them a high-quality food to help promote overall health and regular bowel movements. Discounts like a Dr. Marty nature's blend coupon code can help make it more affordable. Address any concerns about separation anxiety by talking to your vet or qualified trainer about possible solutions.
3. Monitor and Manage Anxiety
It is perfectly natural to feel anxious right now. You have been sheltering in place, spending time with your family and completely out of your routine for months. Now you must head back out into an uncertain situation. Allowing that anxiety to take control of you and dictate your actions can negatively impact your health. It is linked to fatigue and sluggishness, increased blood pressure, trouble breathing and stomach upset. And that's not even getting into the psychological toll it can take.
Find a relaxation technique that works for you. Meditation is strongly backed by science as an effective way to cut through stress and anxiety. Plus, it may help boost your immune system a bit, which is definitely a good thing right now. Try yoga or tai chi to add a stretching component.
4. Focus on the Big Picture
Going back to work is a step back toward normal, and you will need to stay focused on that as you navigate a rapidly changing world and a host of complex emotions. Try to remain flexible in your thinking and actions, and take steps to accommodate those around you who are experiencing the same unfamiliar feelings. Not everything will be like it was before. For example, you may need to forego regular team conferences over lunch and opt to hold them virtually or through chat features for now.
5. Start Preparing Early
Don't wait until the alarm goes off on the first morning back to start getting back into your normal workday routine. Instead, take concrete action at least a week or two before your anticipated return date. Some that you might find helpful include:
- Start waking up closer to your workday alarm time about two weeks before you're start date
- Stock up on snacks for your family and office lunches for yourself in the week before so your family can maintain healthy eating habits
- Arrange child care for any younger family members who will not be returning to traditional school schedules
With a little preparation and planning, you can successfully transition back to in-office working. Take time to address anxiety and practice self-care for the best results.