Reduce Your Stress When Returning to Work

Does the thought of returning to work in person bring you stress and anxiety? We’ve been isolated and/or working from home for so long that it is difficult to think about going back. If the prospect of being in the office full time is daunting, here are a few things you can do to make the transition easier:

1. Do a dry run – head into the office for a practice one – this will help get your mind back in the routine of going to work and it also gives you the chance to tidy up and organize your office. Think about sprucing up the office with some new pictures or a plant. An organized space will help decrease your stress level.

2. Prepare your kids and pets – your pets are used to having you home all day, so consider how you can help them adjust their routine. In terms of your family and children, who have probably gotten used to having you around all the time, carve out some dedicated time to spend with them outside of work such as a weekly family dinner or a special activity.

3. Evaluate your work wardrobe – going back to the office means it’s time to put away the old T-shirt and yoga pants that have been your uniform throughout the pandemic. Go through and make sure all your work clothes still fit and maybe even buy yourself a new outfit (think about it like the first day of school and make it a special occasion).

4. Set your COVID boundaries – always follow the CDC’s advice, but have a sense of what your personal boundaries will be before you head in. Will you continue social distancing, will you shake hands or wear a mask? Knowing how you want to proceed and why can help you feel more comfortable sticking to your boundaries when everyone around you is doing something different.

5. Re-establish a bedtime routine – practice going to sleep and waking up at the appropriate time again. Without a commute or having to get ready you may have taken advantage of some extra time in the morning. Make sure you are ready to attack the day back in the office.

What concerns do you have about returning to work?