The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. – Steve Jobs
Getting up and going to work can be a real challenge. When you are returning to work after an extended leave or illness, it can be overwhelming but it doesn’t behave to be! There are small changes or additions that you can incorporate into your routine that will help keep you in a positive mindset and create a comfortable work space when you arrive at your desk.
Below is a list of zen ideas to help you transition back into the office:
- Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier than usual – allow yourself time to press the snooze button, ease your feet to the floor and lift your head off the pillow.
- Take time to sip your favorite morning drink. Whether it’s a cup of hot water with lemon, a fruit smoothie or a steaming cup of coffee, let that first sip be a moment of self care for the day.
- Dress the part – keep the goal in mind. Of course there are days that I wear my jeans to work with a nice top but for the most part I dress like a boss. The key to incorporating some zen into your wardrobe is picking out the articles or accessories that make you feel good. Wear a comfy pair of colorful shoes, a funny pair of socks, stacks of bracelets or your favorite printed scarf. Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier than usual – allow yourself time to press the snooze button, ease your feet to the floor and lift your head off the pillow.
- The commute to work can be quite stressful as we need to do drop offs at school and/or daycare, make our way through traffic and various weather conditions. With a little advance planning, you can create a playlist of tunes, download some podcasts or listen to audio books to shift your focus elsewhere during the commute.
- Add 1-2 family pictures to your desk area along with a green plant ( or more of you have a green thumb!) occasionally bring in flowers to freshen up your desktop.
- Keep your work area clean. Remove piles of papers, extra office supplies. Make a point of dusting and wiping down the desktop at least once a week.
- Get an ergonomics assessment done to ensure you have all the office furniture and supplies you need to be comfortable, productive and efficient.
- Consider a happy light! If you are in an office with no natural light, a happy light for seasonal depression can be your savior. Even if you have a window office, it can be a great tool for those dark Fall and Winter days that are part of many time zones.
- Determine if music helps or hinders you. I have never been able to study or work In silence – I need background noise. I have a small radio at my desk to energize me with some tunes to keep me on task.
- The sense of smell is connected to our emotional center, so adding a scent that evokes pleasant memories can calm your nervous system. My personal favorites are fruit incense stick in grapefruit, lemon and strawberry. Peppermint, cinnamon and rosemary can help with energy and focus. If you share an office and can’t have essential oils or candles, you can make a cup of tea with these ingredients have the benefits.
I hope that some of these ideas will help you while you start your progressive return or restart your daily work routine.