Lockdown is coming to an end and we’re returning to work post-coronavirus. New norms have been established, and for those of us that have been working from home or have been furloughed, the prospect of going back to work can feel daunting.

Once we’ve had a taste of a different life, it can feel hard to ‘go back’. But it’s not impossible. Just as the idea of working remotely seemed hugely daunting at the beginning of lockdown, we’ve adapted and navigated lots of challenges thrown at us.

Fortunately, there are a host of techniques to help us become a bit more adaptable. Mindset is crucial in this. Take some time to think about how you wish to go forward into this new chapter in your life; instead of focusing on the things you can’t do focus on the things you can do.

Reframe Your Mind

Lockdown life has given us the chance to press the reset button, catch up on much needed rest, soothe our burnout, and evaluate what’s meaningful and important to us. Conduct a productivity-based work-life balance lockdown audit. Reflect on what’s worked for you and what hasn’t and see what changes you can carry into the new post-lockdown world. For example, if you managed to run or walk over lunch during lockdown – really try and keep this routine back at the office.

Try reframing any dread of returning to work into intrigue, and you may well feel excitement about what our working life looks like ahead. Be sure to take note of whether your feelings are and ask yourself what it is that you look forward to.

Try to match what’s worked for you in your lockdown-life and match it frame for frame. You may want to prioritise different types of tasks differently so that they make you feel more in control of your ever-changing life.

Manage Your Expectations

Life has been at a very different pace since lockdown so expecting to run a marathon when you haven’t warmed up is a recipe for disappointment. Set productivity goals that gradually build up your speed and strength so that you continuously feel a sense of achievement rather than disappointment and inadequacy.

Embrace The New Normal

It’s very likely that when we return to work it’s not going to be under normal circumstances; your employer may be considering staggering the workday or bringing people back in shifts.

Rather than waiting to simply be allotted a time slot, take the Chronotype Sleep Quiz on the Simba Sleep App and find out if you’re a night owl or a lark and speak with your employers about the possibility of modifying your working day to match your genetically encoded optimal performance time.

Adjust Your Sleep Schedule Toward The 9-5

Let’s be honest, since lockdown most of us have been falling asleep later and later and waking up later too. Waking up at 9am when when we head back to work after coronavirus simply might not fly immediately!

Pick a goal time to wake up and go to bed and micro-adjust your schedule incrementally toward your goal time.

Aim to give yourself 2 weeks and start with waking up 15 minutes earlier a day. Create sleep pressure by initially reducing your sleep time. So, if you are someone who needs 8 hours a day, make yourself tired by only sleeping 6 hours for about 3-4 days. It’s easier for us to stay up late than it is for us to wake up early so waking up earlier to make yourself tired is a simpler formula. After about 3 days you should create enough sleep pressure to then start going to bed a little bit earlier too. After about 3 days you should create enough sleep pressure to then start going to bed a little bit earlier too. Then give yourself about 6 days to catch up on any lost sleep and adjust to your new schedule.

Work Hard, Play Hard

When it comes to getting back to your desk after coronavirus, alternate short bursts of work with short bursts of play. In this way you can minister to both aspects of our mind.

Rest is an active process. Meaning that your brain needs time and space to process information before we can problem solve. If you are feeling stuck on a problem or you just can find the words, take a walk or refresh your body or don’t be afraid to bounce off some thoughts with a colleague – we’re all going through the same thing so getting a different perspective opens up our vista.

Visit our archives for more lifestyle and wellbeing tips and keep your eyes peeled for the next instalment of our back to work guide.