Today we want to discuss the importance of looking after yourself when returning to work. While some have continued to work from the office throughout the pandemic, many have been furloughed, working from home or have lost their jobs altogether. Now things are heading towards normal once more, more and more people are starting to return to the workplace. Whether this excites or dismays you, it’s important to make sure you remain in a good place mentally during this significant lifestyle change.
You’ll no doubt want to impress when returning to work. But you must make sure you don’t pile too much pressure on yourself or you may be put under a lot of stress. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. No-one should mind doing this, and they might actually enjoy the feeling of helping another and the interaction that comes with it.
You should also set boundaries – when you’re working to a tight deadline, let people know (in a nice way) that you’ll be unavailable unless there’s an emergency. If others are chatting when you need to concentrate, inform them politely that you can’t concentrate while they’re talking. However difficult it might be to do this, it’s not as stressful as trying to work in unsuitable conditions.
Finally, learn to say no if you’re being asked to do too much. Or, at least, let your bosses know that the quality of work might suffer due to the increased workload. It’s important not to overdo it, and if you know you’re at their limit, they need to know this too.
There are several behaviors that have been shown to improve mental health. These include the likes of
talking about your feelings, eating well, keeping fit and taking breaks. Choose two or three that you’re good at and set yourself challenges at work. These could include walking to the local park on every lunch break, or eating healthy lunches for a month. You might find this does wonders for your mental health and helps to ease anxiety and depression.
Make time for wellbeing
Always give yourself time to relax and take yourself away from the stresses of the working environment. Your health is too important not to. Make the most of your lunch hour – don’t eat at your desk, but get out for a walk or a cycle ride. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress and improve your outlook and self esteem. And ensure the place in which you work is suitable for the job you’re doing and has the right equipment. You don’t want to suffer an accident on your return so it’s important to speak up if things aren’t right.
There’s nothing more important than your health. Remember that if you’re ever concerned about speaking out. It’s not worth suffering in silence.