We’ve adapted to many new challenges while living with the impacts of a pandemic.
However, changes to our living and working habits has made it challenging to ‘get back into a routine’.
Routine is our anchor
According to Relationships Australia, routines are our usual ways of doing things. They are predictable and regular and allow us to do everyday things without too much thinking.
This could be:
- Getting ready for work
- Having the same food(s) for breakfast each day
- Waking or going to bed at a specific time
Rituals are similar but can have more emotional meaning attached to them. They can foster a sense of identity and give us what we feel to be important structure in our lives.
For example if going for a run before work is part of your routine then something like setting out your exercise clothes and shoes the night before might be part of your ritual.
Re-starting a routine can be as challenging as starting a new routine.
Especially when it comes to work, whether you’re returning to the office or working remotely.
Here’s our top five tips for getting back into routine at work:
1. Don’t forget the human touch – Regardless of the level of social interaction at your work, it’s important to not completely rely on instant messenger platforms or email. The effort to meet face to face, or by picking up the phone is (still) a valuable personal touch.
2. Schedule a break – As we schedule in hours of our day for work, it is equally important to do so for breaks. You can schedule breaks in your day to eat lunch or even to get up and stretch.
3. Checking in with your colleagues or employees helps create a safe environment – It can be a big re-adjustment back to higher levels of social contact. Regularly checking in with those around you can pre-emptively ease and reduce the potential for tension and conflict in the workplace.
4. Refresh your sleep habits – Taking a short amount of time to review the quality and quantity of your sleep is essential for positive changes. When you’re getting the rest you need, you’re more resilient to any changes which come your way.
5. Ensure you have everything you need to do your job – This isn’t limited to software and hardware. Having what you need to do your best at work also includes ergonomic adjustments to your work setup or access to mental health support through an Employee Assistance Program (EAP).