Preparing to Return to Work

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It comes as no surprise that COVID-19 has changed our routines.

Some may be returning to work with the same schedule and new precautions; some may continue to work from home for the foreseeable future; some may not be returning quite yet, or experiencing a spouse’s return to work. The next few months will look different for everyone, and the feelings around this shift will vary too.

Here are some tips for managing what’s next:

  1. Recognise and acknowledge your emotions. Accept any feelings of uncertainty and the loss of normalcy. We often feel a need to fight emotions, when recognizing and accepting those feelings from what they are can help manage them.Communicate. If you have concerns about returning to work and what that will look like, talk about it.
  2. Communicating with your bosses, co-workers, and partners can ease concerns and help everyone level-set expectations during a transition back.
  3. Do what is in your control.You may see people not following social distancing guidelines or businesses open up you don’t agree with, and understandably that can feel frustrating. You may also notice people behavior differently depending on their risk factors or concerns with COVID-19. Instead of focusing on that, look to what you can control and do what is reasonable and comfortable for you. Look to reputable organizations like the CDC and World Health Organization for guidance and follow their recommendations.
  4. Be realistic. It may also seem like returning to work will be the return of most things as they used to be with more headspace to focus on physical activity, nutrition, and other things wellness related that may have been on the back-burner the last few months. The transition back may take time; be realistic in how habits will need to be adjusted and readjusted as the return to work unfolds.
  5. Monitor your emotional well-being and look for tools to help manage stress.Keep checking in with yourself, and if you do find your emotional well-being taking a toll, look for resources that can help. This could be your company’s EAP, outreach to a counselor, a mindfulness app, or a phone call to a friend.