Transitioning Back to Work After Lockdown

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By Kathryn Hummel
Posted by: Unison

As we start to return to work, there is a lot to think about. Lockdown has impacted us all in different ways, and it is only normal to feel uncertain about what the future holds. Now, as lockdown measures start to ease, some workplaces are beginning to reopen. Here’s a list of some tips we’ve compiled to help you manage the transition. 

Talk and connect

It’s important that you feel like your concerns are being listened to. Ideally, your employer should ask for your feedback on plans to return to the office. If you feel comfortable doing so, check in with your employer to let them know how you are and how they can best support you. Sharing your feelings with your employer will allow them to be better able to help you in the months ahead.

Take the benefits from working from home to your workplace

Don’t expect everything to quickly return to normal. We may not be able to go back to our old ways of working for some time – and if we are lucky, this could give us an opportunity to do things differently, and better. It’s likely that you have found some unexpected positives or benefits to working from home. if you can, try to integrate these on your return to work, for example, by taking a proper lunch break or doing some exercise.

Check in with yourself

It is important to have regular check-ins with yourself (How am I coping? Could I do more to help stay mentally healthy?) and check-ins with your team (How are we working? Is there anything we could do differently to work better together?). This way you can address issues as they come up and start to plan and prepare for the journey through COVID-19 together.

Maintain a good daily routine

At this time, when things appear to be constantly changing, try to maintain a good routine and positive structure to your day. Scheduling in moments of happiness, and embracing the good things in our lives, can be a great mental health boost as well as a welcome distraction from our anxieties. During the hours when you’re not in work, spend time doing activities that you really enjoy, and make sure you do them regularly.

Learn positive coping tactics

When you start to feel incredibly anxious, you may find that your breath quickens, which causes your heart to beat faster, and leads to you feeling dizzy, disorientated and even more anxious than before. Learning a few breathing techniques, where you bring your attention to your breath during these moments, can help you to relax, focus and quieten your mind. Here is one breathing technique for you to try:

  • Breathe in for four seconds
  • Hold your breath for three seconds
  • Breathe out for six seconds

Seek professional help

Know that while it’s normal to be anxious during a pandemic, there are always resources that are available for those who are experiencing stress. For counselling inquiries to help you deal with the financial or emotional impact of COVID-19, please contact 1-855-986-4766.