As we transition to the end of summer, schools are opening, workplaces are asking more of their employees back to their office spaces, and life, as we’ve known it for the past year and a half, will shift yet again. Thinking about going back into an office may bring a whole slew of thoughts you have not necessarily needed to worry about when working from home.
Perhaps now you need to arrange for different childcare, expenses might raise due to a commute, or you may see those living with you way less. Whatever it may be, having a new string of considerations can bring upon some stress. If this applies to you, then check out some tips below for how to tend to your stress upon returning to work, school, or any other setting in person.
Bring in what comforts you
If you have been working or studying from home for the past seventeen months, then perhaps you’ve established some new habits that incorporate into the workday. Maybe you sent emails from your couch, made your own food for lunch, and enjoyed it slowly, or maybe you even had some music or television on as background noise. If you’re feeling stressed about returning to your workplace, try bringing some of your home into the office space. Maybe it’s that candle that made you calm down or that mug from which you sipped your tea. Whatever that piece of home might be can help remind you that you can be settled if you can feel more comfortable.
Cultivate your space
Much like bringing in comforting pieces, having a space that is conducive for your tasks can ultimately help you accomplish those tasks with minimal stress. If you can design your workspace, then it may be helpful to be in some intentional practices around setting up your space in a way that works for you. Bringing in that colorful pillow for your desk chair or hanging some calming art pieces on your walls can help remind you of your humanness in a stressful moment. It also might make you want to be there more when stress visits.
Identify and enforce boundaries with others
I have mentioned boundary setting and communication of said boundaries in previous articles, however, this can be an important one when integrating back to a possibly stressful environment. You might be in a place of relearning what it is like to share space with people you have not been within a long time. You also are likely not alone in that relearning, so identifying what boundaries might make you feel safe and sharing them with your coworkers can help facilitate a less stressful transition. By having that conversation, you might also open an opportunity for others to share with you what boundaries they need to feel safe. And when you can openly share, a less stressful and possibly more comforting work community can be fostered.