Many parents are returning to the office following the COVID-19 quarantine, and this change may bring up feelings of anxiety and other concerns.
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After over a year of working from home, it can be difficult to pivot and head back into the office. From issues with child care to fears surrounding the pandemic, this could be a very challenging moment for many.
Here are a few tips you can use to ease the anxiety and make the transition back into the office a little easier.
Have a Conversation with the Kids
The kids have likely gotten used to having you at home, and this transition may be rough on them as well. I know when my husband went back into the office, it was difficult for both me and our girls.
My advice would be to have a conversation with your children about the new changes. Discuss what the new routine will look like, child care, and their feelings (as well as your own) about the situation.
A simple conversation can alleviate a lot of anxiety.
Give kids the opportunity to mentally prepare for your return to the office. And give yourself the opportunity to connect with your children on the subject before diving in.
Discuss a Hybrid Working Option with Your Employer
If you are truly not ready to head back into the office full time, consider talking to your employer about easing back into it through a hybrid work option. You can work 2 or 3 days in the office, and spend the other days working from home.
This is a great way to ease back into the workplace gracefully. It can also be very helpful for the kids as well.
This is a huge one. It will make things a whole lot easier if you are ORGANIZED.
Take advantage of a calendar or planner to organize your daily schedule. You can also post a general outline of your schedule for the rest of the family to see. That way they can know what days you will be home and can plan any other activities around your work schedule.
Prioritize Your Health
Try to eat a nutritious breakfast and pack a nutritious lunch. Start your mornings off right by doing a quick meditation or journaling before starting your day. Not only will this lift your spirits, but it will also contribute greatly to your overall health.
Don’t feel like you have to do everything on your own. It is okay to hire a cleaner for your home. It is okay to have older children care for younger children while you’re home. It is okay to order carry out.
IT IS OKAY.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. You don’t need to carry all of the weight on your own.
Make Time to Connect with Your Family
Although you are back to work in the office, your family doesn’t have to be neglected. Etch out some time for quality experiences with the family. It doesn’t have to be terribly time-consuming or costly. It can be as simple as a storytime before bedtime or watching your favorite movie together after dinner.
You could even start traditions like Friday Funday (we do this in my household) where you celebrate the weekend with a fun activity.
Even sitting at the table and having dinner together each day is valuable. Find family-centered activities that fit best in your schedule.
Focus on the Positives
Last but not least, focus more on the positives. Be grateful for your sources of income. Be grateful for your family. Be grateful for your ability to get up each morning and go to work.
There are so many blessings that we overlook each day. And those seemingly little things are often the things that have the greatest impact on our lives.
The more we focus on all of the reasons to be grateful, the better things will get each day.
Returning to the office after spending so much time at home is a significant change. But with time, things will get easier. Hopefully, the aforementioned ideas will help you out as you transition back into the workplace. Feel free to share some of your best ideas for heading back into the office in the comments!