By: Cassandra Nordal
Returning to work after a lay off or leave in general, is difficult. You add a pandemic onto that and well, how do we begin to function properly?
There are many things to consider when returning to work such as new and updated policies and procedures, new cleaning protocols, new maintenance procedures, new day to day activities, updated job duties, and let’s face it, basically a brand-new work environment. The return to work after the massive pandemic that we all are still going through is frightening. It is natural to feel a whirlwind of emotions right now just like we all faced when this began months ago.
The fear of the unknown can be a monster in itself and can push us down a negative rabbit hole.
It’s up to you to try to train your mind as best as you can. Its one of the most difficult things we can do as humans. We become comfortable and set in our ways. Many of us have been working for these businesses for months, maybe even years. We are creatures of habit and once we remove the structure, it becomes chaotic. Now through us back into our old comfort zone and change everything up, well, if you ask me, just writing that created some panic for me.
I want to offer three tips on how to handle returning to your workplace:
Focus on what you CAN control
Life throws us a lot of curve balls and it is our job to continue to hit them out of the park. The truth is, we can’t control how others are acting, speaking, or thinking but what we can control is our actions, responses, and mindset. When returning to work, ask yourself – what can I control today?
You can control keeping yourself safe, you can control following the proper protocols and procedures, and you can control how you respond to others. I know it’s difficult, but try to remain focused and remember that everyone is fighting their own battles. Many of us have scars and are scared right now. Now is the time to be kind.
Retrain YOUR mind to think positive
Sounds easy right? Well, its not. This is one of the most difficult things to do and it takes time. Take it from someone who battles with this on a daily basis.
But I will tell you that the old me was one of the most negative humans around, and I changed who I was and continue to on a daily basis to remain as positive as I can. You can help yourself by starting your day before your feet touch the ground and pulling the positive things out of your previous day.
Once you get out of your bed, think about all of the things you hope to accomplish for the day. I’m not talking future goals; I am talking about daily things you hope to accomplish. Start small and work your way up!
For example, today I want to make a healthy breakfast, today I’d like to go for a 15-minute walk and feel that beautiful sunshine on my face or even sit outside for 25 minutes. Work your way up to bigger tasks and goals such as, “I want to walk one hour today,” or maybe “I want to do meal prep today for the rest of the week.” Again, we are creatures of habit and the massive amount of changes we have all just gone through is extremely difficult. It’s okay to start off small and work your way up. When your day is all said and done, when you crawl into your nice comfy bed with your fur babies or your partner, discuss their positive things that happened to them today, listen to them, and support each other. Don’t have a partner? Write it out! Journaling will help more than you realize and give your future self a time to reflect in the future. You won’t be sorry.
Self Care is STILL important
Going back to work can be even more stressful now. Remember to take that time and take care of yourself. Do that at-home yoga you’ve been planning to do for weeks but haven’t gotten around to it, take that time to sit outside and feel that beautiful sun. Hug your children and be thankful you have them/are able to have them and that they are healthy, take that calming bubble bath we know you all deserve, whatever self care looks like to you, do it.
There is only one of you and that in itself is SO incredibly special. We need you.
Written for you, by local therapists.
NWO’s source for all things relationships, mental health, wellness, and lifestyle: Kelly Magazine is a mental health outreach initiative created by Kelly Mental Health and supported by Kelly Mental Health Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the community in the area of mental health.
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