Reverting to a pre-pandemic routine can be challenging
Healthcare didn’t stop during the pandemic. In fact, many roles were amplified, and routines were upended in the face of uncertainty, both at home and in the workplace.
Returning to work for some may mean returning to the natural rhythm of everyday work. For others, it means returning to an office space after working remotely. For all, it means re-centering ourselves after a significant life disruption.
Here are ways to ease the transition after a uniquely stressful year, courtesy of New Directions, Cape Cod Healthcare’s Employee Assistance Program:
- Prepare for what you can. Uncertainty can make you feel helpless. Making a checklist of workplace needs can help
- Ask questions. The more you know, the more comfortable you’ll feel. Talk to your manager about what’s expected at work
- Set boundaries. There may be some lingering fear of virus exposure. Hygiene practices, keeping some distance and not shaking hands are boundaries one can set for themselves
- Prioritize self-care and compassion
For managers, keep the following in mind:
- Consider circumstances each employee may be facing. Lack of childcare, being considered high-risk for illness or serving as a caregiver to others may impact this transition
- Plan time to reconnect with staff, focusing on the positives and resiliency
- Check in with employees on a regular basis
Our inner dialogue can help in adjusting to transitions. Developing positive self-talk and habits can reframe a difficult transition and with practice and persistence, can be a strengthening mental exercise.
- When your inner dialogue seems negative, transform the words themselves to be more positive: “Everyone makes mistakes” becomes “I’m doing the best I can”
- Daily positive affirmations: Write a few statements that resonate and keep them where you can see them. “I am allowed to say no to others and yes to myself” is a powerful phrase
- Engage in at least one self-care activity, like walking or listening to music, every day
- Practice being completely in the present moment (mindfulness)
- Talk to yourself the way you would talk to someone who is important to you. Ask yourself, “Would I say this to someone I love?”
- List your favorite qualities about yourself
- Journal your thoughts and emotions, ending each entry with a positive goal or next step
Learn more about easing the transition of returning to everyday work routines, get manager tips and read more about the benefits of positive self-talk with resources from New Directions.