Being able to work from home predominantly for almost two years was a blessing. It was an adjustment that I got used to faster than I thought I would have. And as life would have it things have come full circle and it’s now time for me to fully return to working from an office again.
As I write this I’m conflicted, I’m happy to be interacting with colleagues again. Even happier that I have a new job with renewed purpose but I can’t honestly say it isn’t taking me time to adjust to this new normal. It’s been over a month and though I’m slowly getting back into the groove of things I’m still quite exhausted at the end of the day.
As exhausted as I am I have made some strides in striking a balance and creating a more harmonious relationship with returning to work. The old adage says if you can’t beat them join them right? So here are just a few tips that I have found to help me adjust to returning to the office after WFH again.
So what have I been doing to adjust? How do I get back onto the groove of the 9-5?
1. I wake up at a realistic time
For my first week back to work I wanted to make a good first impression. I knew the traffic to get to my new job was going to be much heavier than I was used to so I decided to wake up at 5 am to beat the traffic. But I couldn’t keep that up for longer than a week. I was tired and barely holding up by the end of the week.
Needless to say, I was not ready for the pushback my body would give me when I tried to wake up at 5 am for 5 consecutive days. I gave it my all that first week but I realized that 5 am wake up calls were just not working for me.
So instead I decided I’d wake up later. The latest I possibly could without impacting my arrival time for work happened to just be 1 hour later, 6 am. Nevertheless, it felt worlds better than waking up at 5. Now I feel more rested and I can power through a day without fear of falling asleep at my desk.
2. Endless preparation
When I wake up at 6 am I only have an hour to get ready for work and leave home. To make this short span of time work, the word is preparation. I also get great help from my darling husband too in the form of breakfast.
To prepare I’ve gotten back into planning my outfits for the week as well as my meals. This helps a great deal when you need to be awake and out of the house early. I also try to pack my lunches overnight but if I don’t hubby helps.
I pack my bags and place them in an accessible area and if I’m ever carrying extra things I’ll place them alongside my bags for the next day.
3. Simplified makeup routine
My cystic acne has come a far way but I still have acne scarring that I don’t feel the most comfortable showing everyone every day. So to empower myself and feel my most confident I like to wear makeup on workdays. I had to make some adjustments to my routine to make it fit in the one hour I have to be out of the apartment.
It’s been working like a charm especially when I have my brows threaded. With my brows done I can skip that step and go straight into applying foundation and finish up with a powder and some lip gloss.
4. Practice self-care
In the busyness of returning to the office after WFH (working from home), you’ll feel exhausted. I know I sure did. But neglecting your self-care routine won’t help you feel better. You’ll need to take extra care to not burn out and the best way I know to do that is to practice self-care.
Selfcare for me is taking care of my skin, from top to bottom. I like to wash my hair frequently as well. Beyond body care, I also like to stay connected spiritually and that means spending quiet moments in prayer or reading the Bible. Devotionals are a great help here for me and I can’t wait to get my hands on my second one.
Taking time to realign and reset daily is an important task for me as I navigate through my anxiety. It’s easy for me to get overwhelmed by tasks for the future and never fully unwind from a hard day of work but choosing to care for myself in ways I know bring me relaxation and peace is how I stay calm and practice self-care.
These are a few of the ways I’ve been coping with returning to the office after WFH so far. If you’re having a difficult time readjusting remember to give yourself grace. Your feelings are normal and justified. Consider the things you enjoy about your life and job. If there’s nothing you enjoy, think about leaving that space but if you love what you do figure out how to make it work for you.
I’m enjoying this new role and though it’s taking some adjustment, I fully embrace the journey.
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