Getting back to work: self-care

After an absence of even a few days, getting back to work is hard enough. If you've been off for a while, it's harder still. Changing your mindset back into gear, and explaining your absence to colleagues can seem daunting. But getting back is what you need to do (and probably want to do) in order to get back to normality again. Managing this means acknowledging the issues you might face or that are causing you anxiety already.

Get your 'story' straight - key points you want to or can share and repeat this to whoever you need to. Not having this prepared for yourself (a short, succinct version) means you might be stressed and say more than you wanted to which creates more anxiety.

Plan your first day or two back in work for yourself. Think about what will be involved, what may cause you problems and then pre plan what you can do. For example, lunchtime - decide what time is best (you might not last until a late lunch) give yourself a breather and get your head back into it.

Talk to friends in your workplace, if you can, before going back. They can help pave an easier reintroduction back into the team for you. Advise them when you're coming back and ask for their support to get you through any problematic areas such as lunch breaks. Talk through any issues you might feel you will have to face when you return.

Enjoy your day! Take something good for lunch or go out with colleagues. Take it easy and take your time in settling back into the routine. Find out what's gone on, what's changed maybe, what might be different for you. Manage your workload carefully - prioritise what you realistically can do, ask for advice on what is urgent and what can be left until later, and work on a few specific things on day one!

Take your breaks - each and every one. There was a reason you had to go off, so this will definitely help you! Have a coffee, stretch your legs or sit down (whatever is different to your job) and walk outside if you can as fresh air will help relax you.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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