When looking over the past few months, it’s easy to think you have had an easy life; working from home, skipping exams- whatever it is, the majority of people have found this time a lot less stressful than usual (thank you lockdown for forcing us to stay at home). Although, being out of the working environment for so long comes at a price. With everyone being launched back into the office comes a whirlwind of stress and strain. I myself have had this same experience, so I felt it only necessary to share the tips I found most useful in calming my mind when it all gets a bit…trying?
Ah yes, the typical blogger’s guide to success: meal prep. Why does everybody talk about it? Because it works! Waking up on a Monday morning in a cloud of grogginess is not a good match for making healthy choices for your lunch. Instead, you could spend that time on the things you enjoy; for me, I spend it sipping slowly on my coffee and watching the newest serial killer documentary. As well as the minimised stress, you can prepare something pretty nutritious- far better than the sandwich you slap together or the quick Tesco meal deal you always rely on. There’s no need to make an extravagant 3-part feast- simply make a one-pot dish that will last you all week. Here’s a list of some of my favourite go-to’s: https://mealprepify.com/easy-one-pot-meals/
Everyone has something that they do which makes them feel most productive…to-do lists are mine. Having a list of all my tasks helps me to prioritise everything effectively and arrange my day in a way it never becomes monotonous- plus, if you put it all in your calendar, no one will bother you! I include everything on my list-even emails-so that I can keep ticking away my projects and look back on it all at the end of the day with great satisfaction and pride. It’s a known fact that your body releases dopamine (the happy hormone) when you feel accomplished; so why not make every small task a significant achievement?
EXPECT AND ACCEPT INTERRUPTIONS
Whether you work in a communal space or have your own private office, we are all bound to have unexpected disturbances throughout the day- whether that is Brenda talking about her love life or Fred asking for a favour. Whatever it is, we need to anticipate it. There is nothing more irritating than someone stopping your train of thought when you are mid-flow, so what can we do about it? We need to expect the unavoidable and come up with some go-to responses to get rid of those unwanted interruptions. For example, if you are too busy, just say “Let me just finish off (x), and I’ll be free to talk in (y) minutes”; or if you feel you can’t say that, take a moment to write down your current thoughts and what your next move was going to be- this way you can slip back into the task with ease. I also find that people are a lot like dogs…stay with me. We can train the people around us to know when and when not to do something, just like dogs! You can do things such as: having a window of time when you answer emails each day, closing the door when you need extra focus, putting in earplugs etc. There’s nothing wrong with wanting privacy, and simple changes can shift the pressure onto your colleagues. Be consistent with it; it’s a game-changer.
STOP SEEKING APPROVAL
How often do you promise co-workers time you don’t have? I know I used to! It is understandable. You want to please your peers; you want to make them like you. But does it not make you seem a pushover? Does it not make you seem like someone to unload undesirable tasks onto? When beginning a job, it is OK to do this because it shows a willingness to chip-in, but when you start getting a larger workload, you need to be able to say no. Rather than focusing on other people’s perception of you and your work, shift that focus onto the work itself- it is far more likely to impress! You need to enjoy your work and do it to a high quality- don’t rush it! Start directing your energy towards building yourself up and you’ll see your ambition revived, plus your quality of work will increase meaning that your colleagues will like you more anyway! Learning to say no when you need to is essential for personal growth, quality of work, and level of respect from your peers.
Coming back into the office after such a long time off can be scary and full of expectations and anticipation of what’s to come. You don’t need to be the best, you just need to be the best you that you can be. Try your best to put yourself first, breathe, and move forward.
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