A woman in shades wearing a blazer jacket and skirt

I think you and I can all agree 2020 was full of blindsides. So many things crept into our daily lives that we may not have anticipated—financial hardship, loss and event cancellations. Maybe you had to relearn your job within the context of quarantine and that, in itself, became a huge learning curve that shaped your year. 

As offices begin to open up again, getting back into the swing of things can be overwhelming. If you’re experiencing challenges while getting back into the groove, here are a few ways to make the most of it.

Create a new routine.

One of the hardest challenges I had during quarantine—believe it or not—was learning how to work from home. I realized I became so used to commuting to work every day that without it, I felt a little lost. Is there use in getting ready in the mornings or should I just wear pajamas like everyone else is as I work? It took me a while to get back to something resembling normal as I continued to work from home. 

However, once I pushed aside the discomfort and created new morning habits, I found myself excited about my mornings again. Whether it be adding a new coffee recipe or listening to an upbeat podcast every day before heading off to the office, find ways to cultivate anticipation for the new day. Fuel your time with things that energize you—from makeup products to a quick stop at a Starbucks drive-thru. 

The more you add life-giving things to your pre-work agenda, the more confident you’ll feel walking through the doors of your office to get things done. Remember, healthy habits help you cultivate a healthy rhythm, even in the midst of such a chaotic time.

Healthy habits help you cultivate a healthy rhythm, even in the midst of such a chaotic time.

Come up with new ways to foster community.

If there’s one thing 2020 taught the world is how to get creative with the way we connect. Even some of us extroverts become a little more introverted throughout the quarantine. More than ever though, human connection is so important! 

Push yourself outside of your comfort zone to engage with the people around you. Maybe even bring in a treat to share with the office! Everyone needs a little help reconnecting, and what better way to reconnect with the people around you than through a shared meal.

What better way to reconnect with the people around you than through a shared meal.

I know for our office, we’ve created a game channel on Slack where we can play fun, quick games against one another during our breaks. It’s become a great way to interact and engage!

Don’t forget to show grace to yourself and to others.

This season is filled with adjustments for a lot of us. Cut yourself some slack as you begin to hop back into the “new normal.” As you head back to the office, you and your team will have to readjust and possibly reformat some processes you had in place during quarantine to increase productivity.

Show compassion to your coworkers, and be quick to offer solutions when problems arise. Your productivity can only be effective when you look to add value to the problem instead of complaining about it. 

Realize the new season you’re in.

It’s easy to beat yourself up when you start making mistakes. Readjusting can take a few days or maybe even a few weeks! Guess what? That’s totally OK. If you fail to meet a deadline or find brainstorming new ideas for your role is difficult right now, then dust yourself off and get back up again. Try, try and try again. Learn from mistakes, but never dwell on them.

Hang in there, friend. Things will get better. As each day passes, you’ll get a new opportunity to create a new sense of normal again.

Are you returning to work in person? What are some practical ways you are adapting to the new routine?

Image via Cheyenne Ellis, Darling Issue No. 19

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