We are cooped up in our homes for months now, and the monotony is quietly sinking in. While we were drenched in excitement of working from home in our pajamas when the nationwide lockdown started, the yearning to escape from this caged, soul-sapping life is more profound today.
For most of us, life has become dreary and devoid of any enthusiasm. And still, every morning we stay glued to our screens thinking whether we will be able to find the motivation to make it through to 7 pm.
The novelty of work-from-home has worn off, isn’t it! The delight of waking up late than usual, sipping tea while enjoying the morning sunshine, cooking our favourite lunches, blasting our playlists, all while doing our office work has lost its sheen over time.
At the end of the day, we feel deflated. And why not? Managing our emotional, personal life and at the same time working at the desk to keep the day job running is nothing but stressful. Add to that the constant thought of keeping us and our family safe from the mushrooming pandemic. No wonder why we find it hard to stay motivated while working from home.
And now as the lockdown eases and working lives trickle back to square one, we are left with another hurdle-adjusting to that previous life again with a lackluster desire, after experiencing almost a burnout.
The announcement of returning back to work may trigger mixed feelings-it may be exciting as we only wished for that or it can get on our nerves for calling us back too quickly when the pandemic situation is still raging on. And the prospect of returning back to work carries with it a potential safety risk to ourselves and our family.
So, how will we snap out of this mental block and get back to work again? Here’s some tips.
Take it slow: Our body is the ultimate decision-maker. Bombarding our mind with unnecessary information about whether we can cope up with previous office routines can overwhelm us, trigger our freeze response and threaten sane decision-making.
Lack of proper sleep, poor self-care, and loss of drive will worsen our overall health. So, it is best not to jump immediately into the idea of getting back to normal working. Take proper care of yourself, eat healthy breakfast, dance to your favourite tune, and tick off small tasks off the list. This will trigger a burst of dopamine and keep your momentum up.
Next chalk out what you want to achieve in the first month of getting back to work. It will give you a sense of direction and purpose. Talk to your HR manager on how you have decided to manage the transition and whether it can be implemented.
Open up about your mental health: Coming back to work after a roller-coaster lockdown period, picking up routines afresh and settling down with everything again won’t be easy if you are mentally unwell. The stress of daily commute, office politics and concern about the hygiene of the office environment can bog you down mentally.
The trigger of such anxieties, though natural, during a period of transition shouldn’t be brushed under the carpet. One should try to be honest and open up about their feelings with their manager and office colleagues. Speaking your mind to colleagues, hanging out with them during lunch breaks will allay your mental anxieties and help you focus on your work with a renewed zeal.
Get into a routine: Working from home was really a challenge. We missed people, missed physical interactions, and longed for the cool office environment. So, when you get back, try to stick to a routine to gel well with the office life again.
Designate a place free from distractions and which has enough sunlight and air. Set clear tasks for the day-keeping three important decisions can help. Take regular breaks whenever you feel bummed out, stroll around the office corridor, and keep your mind free from any negative thoughts. During lunch, have a good meal and eat away from the work area. And turn off at the right time.
When you leave the office building, shut off any work-related thoughts, and enjoy the rest of the day. Get a good rest. This will keep you in good spirits and keep you charged up for the next day.
Retain the positive habits while working during lockdown: Not everything about the lockdown journey is bland and depressing. You must have seen some positives working during the lockdown. So, blend those positives with your office routine to enhance productivity.
It may be a morning exercise, a mental health routine, or enhanced work productivity that you can hold on to post lockdown. This will keep your mental health in good shape, and you can quickly settle back into your previous routines.