Anyone else returning to work this week in some capacity? Perhaps some of you already have. Or the steps are being taken to do so over the next few weeks. For some this will generate some new feelings. There might be some anxiety, worry, stress, resentment or frustration. And this could be coupled with anticipation, eagerness, optimism, joy or hope. It’s possible to be feeling different emotions from moment to moment as they flow through your body. E-motion. Energy in Motion. As you know, I have a part time job along with my self-employed work. I returned on Monday, which is the start of a phased return and it was good to be back! As someone who generally thrives from being around others, I have enjoyed conversation, laughter and the connection of simply being in the same space. Seeing faces I have not seen for over 3 months, welcoming guests back to our health centre and finding out about what this time has been like for them. And with these positives, it’s also important to recognise the change can impact in other ways....I’ve been exhausted! And I’ve been hearing this from other friends too. It’s not surprising, if you pause and break it down - we are using the brain and body in a different way to the last few months. For me; there’s a heightened focus on new health and safety protocols & additional processes have been introduced, so there’s been an element of learning. Duty of care is paramount so I’ve needed to be extra vigilant and there’s a need to be switched on at all times, considering a variety of different perspectives simultaneously. My routine has changed, I am covering an early morning shift for part of my hours, which has meant an earlier start to that which I have been used to. And amidst this personal change, there have been changes within the business that I have had to get up to date with and which have generated additional work for me. Its easy for us to start ‘should-ing’ ourselves - “I should be able to handle this, I shouldn’t be tired, I should be able to fit all the stuff I was doing before in to my day, I shouldn’t be feeling this way”... but this type of thinking only leads us on a downwards spiral. Something I’m finding useful is practicing a ‘Self-Compassion Break’. This works by recognising how we are feeling (mindfulness), acknowledging that others may well feel the same if they were in your position (common humanity) and asking yourself ‘what do I need right now?’ (Kindness). This practice can be done at any point in the day, where you have a few minutes to yourself. It’s also worth giving yourself a degree of flexibility in this return period. Perhaps it’s not the best thing for you to do that workout when your body is feeling depleted? Maybe a gentle walk might be a kind alternative. Maybe getting to bed half an hour earlier and missing your regular tv viewing, might be what your body is secretly craving? Perhaps that meet up, is best to be postponed to another day?
In this period of change, we can help ourselves by acknowledging that this is just a phase. Talk to loved ones. Share how you are feeling. And get support if you feel you need it. Asking for help is a strength, not a weakness! Sending love x