We understand that the transition from work from home to being back in the office can be a bit stressful post-pandemic. With the trend being that companies are bringing people back into the office and eschewing the work from home aspect (especially in the government contracting sector), it’s important to equip yourself to head back stress free. In this two-part blog post, we will provide you with some coping techniques to get back to the office stress-free.
Clean up your space! When you left your office at the beginning of the pandemic, you didn’t expect to be working from home for so long, so you probably didn’t think to leave your office clean and organized before the shutdown occurred. Tidy up your actual office space the day you walk back in. Make sure that its clean and dusted, and if there is anything that you don’t need anymore… get rid of it! Clear the clutter and make sure things are stocked and organized. Spend your first day back in the office doing this, and you will feel 100% better about your workspace. Decluttering and organizing will reduce your stress enormously.
Something that many people don’t think about when it comes to stress in the office is their wardrobe. Many of us have been working from home for almost two years now, and our work clothes are sadly out of date, or worn out. Having confidence in yourself and your appearance can reduce your stress level walking back into an office environment. Don’t be too hard on yourself when choosing new clothes. A lot can happen in the amount of time that we’ve all been home. Splurge on a couple new, look-good and feel-good outfits and let your confidence combat your stress!
Heading back to the office means finding the right rhythm in your commute time too. No more just walking from upstairs to downstairs, or even right across the hall. Spend some time figuring out the commute schedule and the length of time it will take you to get to work in the morning. You will probably need to adjust your sleeping schedule accordingly. Our best suggestion here is the same that we offer for kids getting ready to go back to school… practice makes perfect. Try using your new routine for a week or two before you have to make it official. Being on time with plenty of sleep can be a huge stress reliever.
Are you feeling anxious about getting back into an actual office? That can certainly lead to being stressed out. Change is hard for many people, and this is a big routine change. Make a list of positives about getting back into the office. What did you love about being in the office pre-pandemic? Having a coffee with your friend from down the hall? List that! Heading out to your favorite lunch spot? List that! Once you have your list going, you’ll find that there are many positives to being back in the office again.
Practice self-care at your desk. Figure out what is allowed in your office and balance that with what makes you happy. Can you burn a candle at your desk? Stock up on your favorite scent, and when you start feeling stressed out, take a minute and inhale the scent. If your office doesn’t allow candles, see if you can find your favorite scent in an essential oil and use a little on your wrist throughout the day. If you love having fresh greenery, consider fresh flowers or a plant to brighten your space up. The sights and smells can lift your mood and reduce your stress.
Take a moment or two throughout the day to meditate or take a break. There are so many options on YouTube or Pinterest for 5-minute meditations available. Find one that works the best for you and practice it at your desk whenever you start feeling really stressed out. Take some calming breaths and relax. By relaxing, you are letting the stress leave you and you will be ready to jump back into the swing of things.
Make sure to join us next week for more ways to reduce your stress levels while getting back into the office.