It feels this week that things are starting to get a little more back to normal – I mean Primark has just re-opened!

So, people are starting to get back to their normal lives (kind of) which means people are starting to go back to work

Last week, I put a poll out on my Instagram page asking how people felt about returning to work after a significant amount of time away or working from home. The majority (90%) said that they were anxious/lacked confidence about the thought of getting back to work

I also asked the respondents what it was that made them anxious – here are a few of the responses:

Not knowing what to expect

Being social again

Dealing with the public

Confidence in their ability to do their job

Will their job be the same?

Sending children back to school

Traveling to work (there were a few that would usually use public transport or car share with a colleague)

Just a weird unexplained sense of anxiety

A few noted it was the same as returning to work after maternity leave or back off holiday

Many of us had to adjust to this new way of life, a new routine and now we have to go back out into the world and adjust to the unknown and a new routine and for many, a new way of working

Many of us do not like the idea of change and this in itself can make us feel uneasy

Here are a few things you could try to make the transition back to work a little easier:

  • Speak to your colleagues – this does not have to be about work. Re-connect with them again. Ask them how they feel about going back – I’m sure it won’t be too different to yourself
  • Discuss your concerns with your manager. Find out as much as you can about what changes have been made, either to the environment or your job role
  • Ask what steps have been taken to ensure a safe work environment
  • Let people know if lockdown has been difficult for you, if you have felt isolated, overwhelmed or if you have been personally affected by the virus
  • The more information you have the more you can prepare yourself for that first day back
  • Take things one step at a time – not everything will run smoothly at the beginning and that’s understandable for everyone
  • Be kind to yourself and to others – we are all trying to figure this out
  • Wear something that you feel comfortable but CONFIDENT in – this will really get you off to a good start
  • If you have had 3 months of ‘no alarm days’ start setting your alarm for the time you need to get up a few days before you go back – ease your body back into it

As much as we have felt trapped during the last few months if is also completely understandable to feel a bit strange about moving with the world again

Look after yourself and talk to those around you who can support you and make you feel at ease

Finally, remember all the positives you experienced during lockdown – quality time with your family, connecting with people in new ways, the time you had to do the things you never had time to do, getting to know your neighbours, the way everyone helped each other, how people where a little more kind to each other

As you move back into “real life” again, don’t forget to continue to do the things you enjoyed during lockdown

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