As we navigate "the new normal" and go back to our offices, there is a lot to think about. Many people are worried and anxious about returning to work. while others will simply struggle with establishing that daily routine again. Everyone's situation is unique, however as we return back to work, there are three principles we should all follow:
Respect for self
Respect for others
Responsibility for your actions.
There are numerous potential stressors at work: not only are you chased by infinite projects and tight deadlines but also have to navigate the individual energies of people around you. Part of spending the day in a shared space with a lot of different people with their own agendas requires you to negotiate everyone’s emotions as well as your own.
The most important thing you can do for your workspace self-care is to check with yourself every morning. If you are aware that you’ve woken up in a bad mood, perhaps you can find a way to address it before you get into the office. If you’re feeling sad or really stressed, could you ask your colleagues to give you some space today? Knowing where you’re at before you encounter others allows you to act out of consideration for them as well as for yourself.
You may be lucky enough to have fantastic colleagues but even in the best workplace environment it’s likely there will be someone or something to push your buttons. Use our ideas to not only protect your energy, but deal with the different workspace stressors.
How To Keep Your Sanity At Work
- To counteract all the sitting you do at work, try to get moving before you arrive at the office. Get off the bus a few stops early, walk up the escalator instead of standing on the right side or take a bike.
- Listen to some calming music at your desk. Headphones are a sign for people to stay away. Use them with caution or you might miss everything that goes around you, and sometimes you might miss some mood boosting fun. If you can't concentrate, see if music without lyrics is better. Try searching piano music, music for concentration or reading on Spotify to find some excellent curated playlists.
- Invest in some Chinese stress balls - two stone orbs that you can circle in your hands to calm you
- Have fresh flowers or a plant to look after on your desk to sooth your energy
- Check in with yourself regularly. Do you feel sluggish? Have you drunk enough water? Cranky? Has your lunch been nutritious enough?
- Download a plugin that tells you to take a break from the screen.
- Go for a walk in your lunch break but leave your phone in the office. Plan your route in advance and change it up a little bit every day
- Get some fresh air if possible; it’s hard in some offices, but if you’re lucky to have a window, open it regularly.
- Avoid heavy carb-filled lunches that will make you feel sleepy
- Keep hydrated. Put a jug of water on your desk. Add a slice of lemon, a drop of lemon oil to make yourself a refreshing spa water
- Keep your desk really tidy. Mess around you can subconsciously make you anxious
- Get as much light as you can or buy a special light therapy box. This is especially needed in winter when some of us suffer from seasonal affective disorder .
- Check in with your posture every hour; sit up, feet on the floor and take a few deep breaths; open up from collarbone to collarbone, make sure your chin isn’t collapsing and your jaw is relaxed. This relaxes your shoulders and gives your lungs, digestive system and organs room to work.
- Get up from your desk every hour, even if it’s just to have a walk around the office.
- Avoid the office sugar trap. So often we eat stash of biscuits because we are fed up or tired rather than hungry. Instead of eating, give yourself a break. Go for a walk or have a chat with your work wife.
Finally, keep in mind that everyone is finding their own path, adjusting to the situation and things might not always go to plan. It is important to be kind to yourself and to be kind to others as we all navigate our way through the new normal.