Quarantine Guide:

How to Quash Your Bad Quarantine Habits Before Returning to Work

Quarantine Guide:

Cups of coffee on our lonesome, playlists decided by our own listening habits, and daily commutes consisting of little more than rolling out of bed, donning a dressing gown, and turning on a monitor.

The lockdown life we have become accustomed to over the past number of months has certainly been strange. Some of us have adjusted to the change in routines easily, where others have struggled.

With that said, at some stage soon we're all going to have set our alarms one hour earlier, embark on the morning trek through rush hour traffic and walk through those office doors again.

There are two simple ways to do it, however. The first will be to crumble by the time it reaches 10:15, failing to follow up on that pre-lockdown ambition. The second is to take it in our stride because our mind is truly focused on success.

Let’s take a look at how you succeed when you walk back into the lion's den that is the working world on day one post-lockdown.

Exercise

Local gyms have been closed for several weeks now and despite major investment in home workout equipment at the beginning of lockdown, the best will in the world couldn’t have tempted us away from indulging in endless barbecues and glasses of pinot throughout the month of May.

According to a report by Copernicus Climate Change Service, globally, May was 0.63 degrees Celsius warmer than average for that time of the year. With this temperature increase, many of us fell off the hypothetical exercise wagon.

As soon as you’ve returned to work, your hours in the day will seem even more limited, thanks to outbound and inbound travel, making it even harder to find time to train. Take that hour back now and devote time each day to meditating, running, or throwing weights about. Trust us, it will be easier to do it now than try and go full tilt when you’re back in the office.

Ban the sweats

Most of us entered lockdown with the ambition of changing life as little as possible — clothing played a big part of this! Many of us committed to still wearing our typical office attire around the house.

Most of us have probably heard people reiterating the fact that getting dressed appropriately everyday keeps you in the working mindset. This was fine for one, two, even five weeks of lockdown. But, after three months many of us have given up. We’ve all become a bit more laissez-faire in regard to what we wear.

Let’s be honest, we could all get used to hoodies and sweatpants, but it isn’t going to cut it. Therefore, you need to cut it out.

Now we aren’t proposing shirts and suits for men or evening dresses for women from the get go, but smart casual at least should be implemented into your work attire at least two weeks before you return to the office. Doing this will ensure that your first day back will not consist of major discomfort. Work your way up…

Catch that worm

A recent report produced by UK-based app Sleep Cycle has found that Brits are getting approximately 42 minutes more sleep a night than they were doing pre-lockdown.

Furthermore, the average wake-up time has shifted from 7:44am to 8:16am – an undoubtedly welcomed additional 32 minutes. Without sounding too much like beloved Country and Western star, Dolly Parton, many of us have become accustomed to rolling out of bed and stumbling to our workspace at 8:25 ahead of a Zoom meeting at 8:30.

Stop tapping the snooze button on the alarm now. When the inevitable return comes, you’ll have so many other things to think about in your day and getting to work on time and in a safe manner is certainly one of the most important.

Be Inspired recently shared a video detailing why all billionaires wake up at 4am and not a moment later — it’s worth your attention!

Turning off all electronics long before you go to sleep, altering your evening activities, and of course, going to bed earlier will all make that transition to an early start so much easier. It’s your time to go and catch the worm!

What have I already done and what do I need to do?

As soon as your back into the swing of things your mind can easily go into overdrive forcing you to lose track of where you’re at. If this happens, you’ll start struggling to distinguish the wood from the trees.

Try and document your goals at the beginning of everyday and reflect on them at the end of the week.

This is not only good as a tracker, it will also allow you to reward yourself appropriately with self-appreciation.

Perhaps over the course of lockdown you’ve embarked on a number of ‘outside the box’ activities. Whether it’s online courses, new hobbies, or simply the beginning of a new project — detail your developments.

To conclude, returning to work is never going to be easy, despite the fact that many of us are patiently waiting for it. However, implement these simple daily habits before lockdown lifts fully and the transition will certainly be a lot smoother.

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Fay McFarlane
See all posts by Fay McFarlane