As the summer comes to an end and autumn sets in, it’s not just children who are going back to ‘school’. While offices may have reopened back in July, the end of the holiday season heralds a more seismic shift back to the office for many following the pandemic. With that comes excitement but also anxiety – for our physical, mental and emotional health. So how can we seek to manage our work wellbeing in an ongoing and sustainable way?
This is one of those things that’s so much easier said than done. However, a little time to yourself each day rather than once in a blue moon, will invariably make you feel happier, healthier and more productive. For some that’s an hour in the gym, for others it’s a walk first thing in the morning. Some prefer a bath before bed, others take 15 minutes to read a book at lunchtime. Whatever your go-to me time is, make it part of your routine and plan it as a as a non negotiable part of your day.
During the pandemic, many of us discovered the power of a good walk. Some even took up running. Closed gyms forced us into the fresh air, and it turns out, we like it! As we return to the office it can be hard to keep these little habits up, especially as we head into the winter months. However, whether it’s hopping off the train a stop early and walking the rest of the way, taking a stroll during your lunch break or walking to meetings instead of taking public transport, taking any opportunity (within reason) to get outside and stretch those legs will go a long way to supporting wellbeing throughout the working day.
Having things to look forward to is sometimes as important as the experience itself. Whether it’s booking a holiday, dinner out, a weekend away or (of course) a spa break, getting things in the diary can have a positive impact on mental wellbeing. Planning also means that these breaks actually happen. How often do you say, ‘I really want to go to …’ but then it’s six months or a year before it even makes it into the diary – if at all? Plan ahead to make sure these things happen – especially as the surge in travel post pandemic does mean that availability is tight, so plan to avoid disappointment.
We’re not the authority on Covid-19 and there are plenty of other people who can advise you on that. However, as many of us remain anxious about a return to the workplace, keeping up some of the habits we have taken up won’t hurt. Regular testing and a bottle of hand sanitiser in your bag/on your desk for example can go a long way to providing you and your colleagues with a sense of reassurance.
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