‘Tis the season to go back to school — er — work shopping! While you may not be purchasing a new Jansport Backpack or picking out your Lisa Frank folders and pens, this fall marks the great ‘Return to Office’ for many professionals. After more than a year dialing into Zoom calls from a makeshift home office, many companies are opening their doors and welcoming back employees.
In addition to the obvious physical transition (hello: commute and face-to-face interactions), you will likely need to navigate new challenges, changes and feelings. After all, a global pandemic is a scary, intense experience, and we all have to ease into our ‘old normal’ as best we can.
At Covey, we’re dedicated to keeping skincare (and frankly, all) routines simple, fulfilling and focused on self-care. This includes your mental health as you head back to your desk and reunite with colleagues. Here, we share our guide on preparing for the next 2021 chapter:
Practice earlier mornings.
Raise your hand if you’re rolled out of bed at 8:57 a.m., quickly pulled on a sweater and logged in for your 9 a.m. meeting. One of the benefits of working remotely was the ability to get a little more sleep and spend less time making yourself, er, presentable. Since, sadly, your boss likely won’t change the dress code to include pajamas, you’ll have to readjust to earlier mornings. Though it may be an uphill battle at first, early risers tend to be more productive, mainly if they can master a beneficial routine.
A few weeks before your office officially reopens, start setting your alarm 15 minutes earlier, then 30 minutes, and so on. To aid in your success, spend that A.M. time doing activities you enjoy, like going for a nature walk, cooking a balanced, healthy breakfast, spending time with your spouse and/or children, walking your dog, and giving a little more TLC to skin health.
Be honest about how you feel.
And by being honest, we mean with everyone: your friends, your mentors, your manager, and most importantly, yourself. Most offices offer a hybrid model, where teams take turns coming in and continuing to work from home. Even if it is technically your day to be in-person, don't be afraid to communicate your concerns if you’re not feeling mentally up to it.
The more you listen to your body and needs, the more productive and creative you will be in your job responsibilities. It’s better to get through your to-do list from your couch than to battle anxiety from 9 to 5 at your desk.
Schedule happiness breaks.
Much like it took time to get used to the pandemic way of life, the same is true for returning to the office. To help you push through the days with optimism and positivity, schedule happiness breaks. This might be lunch with a friend, a walk around the block to grab a latte, or even booking a conference room for a quick meditation. These activities will boost your serotonin levels and help improve your focus.
Simplify your routines.
Without realizing it, your routine probably naturally slowed down during the pandemic. Without an over-packed social calendar to manage, you likely wore less make-up, had fewer reasons to get dressed up, and spent more time focusing on simple pleasures, like a nice cup of tea or reading a book outdoors. As you readjust to life again, resist the urge to add more than you need to your rituals.
Covey makes it easy to have healthy, radiant skin with our three-step routine, including an effective cleanser, a potent vitamin C serum and a hydrating moisturizer. It takes little effort and time, but makes all the difference in how your skin feels and looks.
If Covey’s approach inspires you, you can apply the ‘three steps only’ principle to other parts of your life: the structure of your workday (email, meetings, heads-down time), your fitness routine (stretch, work, rest), and so on.