Let’s be honest, the workplace is never going to be exactly the same as it was before this virus came and made things complicated. And while you might be grateful for not having to do that same-old commute five times a week, it doesn’t mean that, mentally, the new working world won’t come with its own challenges.
With that said, here are just a few quick tips to help you adjust to work post-Covid, whether that be working away from home, in your home, or a bit of both.
Don’t save it for the bedroom
Bed can be such a tempting place to work from…but it’s not a great place to stay all day. It can be hard at the best of times to make that first move out of bed in the morning, and working from home certainly doesn’t help with that. But even a simple act of making your bed can give a sense of achievement to start the day. If you have the option, working in a room other than your bedroom could also help you concentrate (and even sleep) more effectively. Plus, everybody feels a better sense of authority when they’re not sitting in their pyjamas.
This one is definitely important wherever you are working, and can definitely have a significant impact on your mental health – good or bad. If you’re finding yourself with aches and pains after a long day at the dining room desk, speak to a manager about trying to get office equipment for your home. If you’re in the office and used to, say, taking the dog out at lunch, make an effort to still go for walks at lunchtime. Wherever you are, try to take regular breaks – standing up for at least 30 seconds every half an hour, and five minutes every hour. Your body, and your mind, will thank you for it.
Don’t overthink that social interaction
We’ve spent the best part of eight months in lockdown in total over the last two years. So, anyone who tells you they don’t feel apprehensive about being around people again may be hiding something. It’s not normal for us to go through what we’ve been through, so it’s completely normal for our brains to react the way they are. Try and remember this when returning to work, and try not to worry if you think an interaction didn’t go a certain way. Chances are, the other person was probably feeling the same. If you’re feeling anxious before a day of work, socialising or not, try and do some soothing rhythm breathing (link below) before you go to bed and when you wake up. Aside from that, be kind to yourself, you’re doing the best you can and that’s amazing.
While it may sound like a given, it’s important to try and talk to people if you’re struggling with working life, even if it has stayed exactly the same as before. Those going into the office may talk to multiple people each day, but this isn’t the same as opening up about how you’re really feeling. If you’re not 100% happy with what’s going on in work-life, it could be worth talking to a manager, a friend or family member, or if these worries are extreme or persistent, a GP or mental health professional. Remember that you’re not alone, and while we’re all going through changes, that doesn’t make your problems any less significant, or your issues any less important to try and solve.