As we unfold…

In this blog, I look at how destabilising the past year has been but by drawing on the lessons we’ve learned about resilience, adaptability, and community we’ve learned over the last year, we can pull through together. It’s not going to be easy for many to return to the business of work, education, and social engagements but by taking care of ourselves, each other and asking for help we’ll find the solutions we need. If you’re affected by any of the issues raised, I’m here to help.

Getting back to it

In the last few weeks, we have slowly unfolded from lockdown, and many will now be returning to the kind of life they knew before Covid-19. For some, this has proven to be more challenging than the actual lockdowns. It’s natural to have mixed feelings of one minute looking forward to a return and the next feeling uncertain. It’s to be expected that we’ll have wobbly moments or feel completely exhausted by the last fifteen months.
In effect, we have all been put into a different orbit of immense stops and starts and seen so many changes in our daily lives with little time to fully grasp everything. With this loss of control, it is no wonder that we constantly move on the emotion spectrum from anxiety to excited, probably wondering what will happen next.
What is important as we resume, is to realise that each one of us is now going to find our way back differently and unpacking the last year is going to take time. We should all be kinder firstly to ourselves and then everyone around us. Small steps forward are the best way possible to cope with our new normal.

A warm welcome

When returning back to the workplace or education, you may be worried about many things from your commute to the volume of people, noise levels or leaving your pets. The fact is that you are returning and that in itself is a great step forward. There is no reason to hide the fact you may have your own anxieties, however, so try to focus on the important things that matter to you and have the realisation you’ll have your ups and downs.
It would be great if we could create a warm welcome. A smile or hello can change a moment of fear to a happy moment because even small things can make a difference in someone’s day. It is important for us to make people feel welcomed back and this involves checking in on the feelings behind the brave face. See this as a part of a regular and ongoing process rather than a one-off thing.

Anxiety

You may feel anxious, uncertain, and apprehensive about returning to the workplace setting following lockdown, being furloughed or after being unemployed. Alternatively, you may be champing at the bit to return to a more sociable environment or reconnecting with family and friends. Perhaps you are a leader and feel anxious about the new challenges facing you, not knowing what issues may crop up in the coming months and you are trying to be positive for yourself and those you lead.
Remember you are not alone. There have been huge changes in the world and especially in the sphere of employment in the last twelve months. Many of those who work are now having to readjust from doing their job from home to hybrid situations. This can be a huge challenge – adapting to change can be tough. Having an open mind can help but how do you get there? Share your concerns with those you can trust to support you through this.

How can I help myself?

There may be ups and downs when you return and striving for perfection is all well and good but try not to dwell on the negatives. The key is to focus on the present and things that really matter to you! You could try seeing the last year as a way of growth in your personal development, asking yourself what did I learn? You may recognise new skills:

    • How you are managing change.
    • Becoming a problem solver.
    • Managing the expectations of a team.
    • Using your listening skills.

Most of all the greatest achievement is that you came through. Try turning a negative into a positive. This can be achieved by journal writing, reflective thinking and realising you actually achieve more than you think you do.

Sharing your experiences

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the journey to work and going back to the office, even a small thing can trigger anxiety. It is vital that you share your feelings so that you can be supported. If you struggle with this conversation, rest assured that there are strategies you can use, and I can help you to develop these.
Perhaps you are worried about your workload or balancing your life, your family’s needs and you’re feeling swamped. Again, communication is the key – you could speak to loved ones, colleagues, or your team leader. The important thing is not to keep this to yourself because solutions and support can always be found. Learning to communicate clearly is something that takes courage but once you manage this you will be able to find your way forward.

Confidence

It may take some time to build back your confidence. This is normal and many of your friends and colleagues may feel the same way. Do have open and honest conversations with people that matter to you and invite colleagues to share their feelings too. You may be surprised that you share common concerns, which can then create a support group. Ensure that you are creating a balance in your life and check that you are taking care of yourself (sleep, hydration, breathing, nutrition, and time out are so vital to supporting you).
Of course, you may feel that you are now feeling lost or stuck in your life or career. There is a significant change in your priorities and purpose. This may be a good time for us to work together to help you to focus on what you really want from life.

One step at a time

The next few months will be unique in the world. We all need to be adaptable and take what has been learned over the last year to create a happy, settled environment that allows us to feel included and accepted as individuals. This way we can go about our daily lives whether in a happy productive workplace or a relaxed social setting. We have to start feeling comfortable and not compromised now we are unfolding.
Choices will need to be made around what norms need to be preserved and which do not. The landscape of the working community has seen a huge and unusually rapid shift during the past year. The important thing is to take a day at a time, with small steps to understanding what is making you feel anxious, finding coping mechanisms and taking care of yourself. These will all help so that each and every day you will gain more confidence.
If you are looking to gain strategies for reducing your anxiety about work, being able to reflect on what you want or how to communicate better or building your confidence then do get in touch with me to discuss how I may help.
#ListenTalkInspire #Coaching #Confidence #Kindness #Onestepatatime

Photo by Suad Kamardeen on Unsplash
This blog was first published on LinkedIn on 5th August 2021 https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6829105553193754624/

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