Self-Care Hacks for Going Back to the Office
Despite its many challenges, 2020 was a good year for self-care. Grappling with the challenge of working from home in a time of uncertainty and stress, many of us decided to invest in activities that would renew our spirits. We learned to meditate. We wrote in gratitude journals. We wore weighted eye masks to bed. These small but effective rituals helped us stay sane in a tough year and taught us the importance of putting ourselves first.
Hacks for Going Back to the Office
Now that we’re returning to the office, it’s easy to fall back into bad habits and put everyone else’s needs above our own. Why not take some of your self-care habits with you to the office?
Ahead, eight self-care hacks will make your transition to the office smooth and (relatively) stress-free.
1. Boost your creativity with a feel-good music playlist
During the lockdown, many people discovered that they do their best work at home. Now that you’re going back to the office, you might be worried that your creativity and concentration will suffer. One potential solution? Making a feel-good playlist with happy tunes.
According to a 2017 study published in the journal PLOS ONE, listening to happy music may help you tap into your creative side and develop original solutions to challenging problems. Before your next meeting, try taking a quick walk and blasting your tunes to get your creative juices flowing.
2. Remember to drink H2O
Drinking water comes with a slew of health benefits, from boosting energy levels to flushing out toxins. But when you’re busy responding to emails and talking to clients on the phone, it can be easy to forget to drink enough H2O during the day.
To keep yourself hydrated and feeling good during the workday, treat yourself to a new water bottle and bring it with you to work. Still, struggling to get in your 12 to 15 cups per day? Try adding slices of lemon, lime, and other citrus fruits to your water to give it a zesty flavor.
3. Bring a weighted throw blanket to the office
Weighted blankets practically flew off the shelves in 2020 as people frantically searched for comfort items to help calm and soothe their nerves. If the idea of returning to the office has you all kinds of stress, consider bringing a weighted throw blanket with you to work.
Keep it stored underneath your desk and pull it out whenever you’re feeling anxious, sad, or stressed. Nobody is going to judge you for cozying up to a weighted blanket at work.
On the contrary, your coworkers will probably think it’s a genius idea and start bringing their own comfort items to work.
4. Sneak fitness into your daily routine
Let’s face it, finding time for exercise was a lot easier when you had a flexible work schedule and the freedom to dress in sweatpants. When you head back to the office, you’ll need to prioritize fitness once again.
If waking up at the crack of dawn to work out isn’t your thing, look for ways to sneak fitness into your day. Take the stairs, park the car a few blocks away from the office, and schedule walking meetings with your colleagues. Remember — all movement counts!
5. Make your workspace feel like home
If you’ve been working from home for the past year and a half, the idea of returning to a cold and dreary office space might sound a little depressing. Before your official start date, visit your office and start adding cozy touches to make it feel more like home.
Hang up pictures of your family, adjust the lighting and use a wax warmer to enhance your space with a scent that reminds you of home. You can also green up your space with mood-boosting houseplants, such as aloe vera or snake plants.
6. Meditate on your way to work
One of the biggest perks of working from home was having the ability to roll out of bed and be at your desk in less than two seconds. But now that long commutes are back on the menu, you might be dreading the long drives and traffic delays.
One way to make your daily commute a little less stressful is by practicing meditation on your way to work.
The next time you get stuck behind traffic, take a few deep breaths and approach the situation from a place of empathy rather than frustration. By the time you arrive at work, you’ll be far more relaxed!
7. Give your work wardrobe a makeover
Your salsa-stained sweatshirts and leggings may be comfy, but they’re probably not doing your self-esteem any favors. In fact, research shows that the clothes we wear can significantly impact our confidence and mood.
Before you head back into the office, donate your old clothes and treat yourself to some comfy, high-quality workwear. When you look sharp, you’ll naturally hold yourself tall and have more confidence in yourself.
8. Set boundaries and communicate your needs
When you first started working from home, you probably had to set a few boundaries to avoid burnout. Now that you’re returning to the office, you should be prepared to set new boundaries. Things have changed a lot in the past year and a half, including our personal and professional needs.
If you need to listen to music to drown out the office noise, communicate your needs to your boss. If you need to skip happy hour because you’re not yet comfortable being around tons of people, it’s OK to say no. Ease yourself back into it and go at your own pace!
There you have it! Can you think of any other hacks for going back to the office?