At the start of August, I will not be working from home anymore and I will be back working in the office. I’m nervous about how I and the family will readjust to another change in routine.
At the beginning of lockdown, it seemed daunting, but now many of us have gotten used to our ‘new normal’ and just as you have adjusted, you have to readjust all over again by heading back into your office. You and your family have just had a huge amount of time together. It is natural that you will all feel some separation anxiety. Of course, you all will have mixed emotions, perhaps some of relief and some of sadness.
First, sit down and look at what your new day is going to look like. What changes do you need to make to your timetable? Next look at what the practical implications returning to the office will have. Reflect on what elements you have enjoyed in this season of life slowing down. Are there parts that you can keep? Talk to your children about what they have enjoyed the most, perhaps it’s been time for that extra story in the morning, or everyone being together sitting down at breakfast time. What elements of this can you keep consistently doing, or what adjustments do you need to make in order to keep those parts of your routine?
Of course, think also about what you have enjoyed the most? Have you had time for more exercise or relaxing in the evening, these are things that don’t have to change once you are committed to keeping them in your routine, decide on what really matters and what are non-negotiable and put them in your calendar. Map out your week at the start of the week with your family, and slot in all those important items.
Take the time to reassure children of family time, for your first week back at work try to plan some special for that weekend, it could be a hike or a family movie night.
Perhaps there is an activity that you can do together as a family like the zoo or a favourite playground.
You’re concerned of course with your children and how they feel, but remember it is important to also think about the impact on you. You can’t give what you don’t have, so take time to think about your own needs during this transition back to work. It’s important to remember that this is just another transition phase and that you and especially your children are adaptable and will adjust much quicker than you think.