Returning to the workplace after COVID-19? Discover the secrets to keeping your head in the right place.
So it’s time to return to the workplace after a COVID-19 shutdown. After such uncertainty, you may find you are one of two types of people:
Those who overjoyed and excited to be around people and a routine again (hello extroverts!)
Those who would prefer to remain in their pajamas all day, in their own space, and enjoy the quiet isolation of their own company. (We are looking at you introverts!)
Either way, returning to the workplace could be tricky while everyone’s individually processing what is happening in the world, workplace dynamics are once again reinstated and the pressures of uncompleted work are piled on your shoulders. Here are our top tips for navigating your mental and emotional health during this transition:
- Focus on what is within your control
Release yourself from anxiety by acknowledging what you can and cannot control. Let’s face it. You cannot control if your workload is overflowing after the break. You cannot control if some people are taking their time to ease back into the work while you are ready to jump in headfirst, or vice versa.
In short, the only thing you can truly control is what YOU do. You can choose to not allow the challenge of getting back into a new rhythm to weigh on you. You can choose to be patient with those who are taking longer than others to get started. The only thing you can truly control is what you do.
So what are you going to focus on?
- Create balance for yourself
Our workplace activities can fit into two main categories: Naturally draining or naturally energizing. (This applies to our personal/home life too.) If we are not aware of this, we can find ourselves continually doing activities that are naturally draining, pushing us further toward depression and lethargy as our energy levels are drained mentally, physically, and emotionally.
Take responsibility for your own mental and physical health and create balance for yourself. When you find an activity that has started draining you too much, create balance for yourself by switching to an activity that is naturally energizing.
- Make time to meditate
We know, we know. THAT word again! But bare with us. By making time to quiet your mind and give yourself space you will be able to think more clearly and re-energize yourself. Now meditation doesn’t mean you have to put on your yoga gear and start burning incense in the office. It could be as simple as taking deep breaths and counting to 10 slowly and deliberately. It could be as simple as making yourself a cup of tea and focusing on the little details of it. How the hot cup feels in your hands. The smell of the delicious steam rising from the cup. The way it tastes in your mouth. Meditation comes in many different forms and doesn’t have to take lots of time. It is just a matter of finding which method works best for you.
To get a better idea of what meditation truly is, check out this video by the creators of the Headspace meditation help app: https://youtu.be/iN6g2mr0p3Q
While we believe these are the top 3 secrets to keeping your head in the right place when you return to the workplace after COVID-19, above all else, just be honest with yourself and with others. Be honest about how you are feeling and be brave enough to express this to someone. Sometimes the easiest and most effective way to keep our mental and emotional health in check is to talk to someone. This has been a tricky time for everyone and you may just find, when you open up honestly, that you are not alone in how you feel.
If you’re looking for additional support or someone to talk to, you can always call the Lifeline Crisis Hotline on 13 11 14.
*This is general information only and doesn’t take your specific circumstances into account.