Returning to work? Tiny tips to keep you on track.

As the furlough scheme winds down, many employers are now asking their employees to return to work. Whether this is now working from home, which in itself can present complications or returning to the workplace. After all this time, either can cause you to feel stressed out.  

Whether you’ve loved being away from the workplace or not, you’ve had to create new routines and now will have to change again. You could be negotiating with your workplace or you may have been informed that you need to return, all of these changes require you to adapt and be flexible. Being flexible is difficult but not impossible when you are in a climate of fear. You might be dreading the thought of having to be up and out at a particular time every day again, the school-run, meetings, dealing with new Covid secure procedures or if your workplace will be safe? You might feel you have lost your confidence which in itself is causing you sleepless nights. These are completely natural concerns and will undoubtably cause some anxiety.  

 The thought of getting back to work can be challenging, maybe you are trying not to think too deeply about it. You might have a physical response to this, it is important to address it to enable you to get things back in control.  

There are many different ways in which these feelings can present themselves: having trouble sleeping; dreading certain situations; feeling sick; stomach ache; increased heart-rate; not being to focus etc. For example, if you’re walking down the road and you realise, you’re not taking notice of any of your surroundings or if you’ve driven home but with no memory of having got there, this may be a sign of stress. 

There are ways in which you can help yourself, to regain some calmness before it manifests into something deeper. 

  • Breathe. We are keen believers at Live Life that breathing is something that we all should take more time to practice! This may seem ironic as breathing is what we do all the time, however research tells us there’s a better way to breathe. If you are stressed or anxious your breathing becomes shallower, this sends an alarm signal to the brain which in turn releases ‘fight or flight’ hormones causing your heart rate to increase and making you feel anxious. It is a cycle you can break by taking 5 minutes to concentrate on your breathing, click here for more information https://www.facebook.com/livelifenotstrife/posts/2752713634951953  If you have an iPhone you can set it to notify you 2 or 3 times a day to remind you to breathe, some of our clients with iPhones swear by this! 
  • Easy meditation. Make some quiet time for yourself. 5 minutes in the morning or evening or both, to practise some meditation or try a body scan relaxation; lie on your back or sit on a comfortable chair and starting at the top of your head tense the muscles of your body each in turn then relax them. An easy technique which really works, click the link for more information;  https://www.verywellmind.com/body-scan-meditation-why-and-how-3144782 You also can download the free Headspace app for easy meditation exercises. 
  • Exercise. An increase in exercise is proven to help reduce anxiety and stress. It makes a physiological change in the body which promotes the release of feel good hormones. There are many home workouts available for free on You Tube to suit every individual circumstance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5PkuMuMqBs. If you don’t exercise very much now, start with adding a little bit of walking into your day. Maybe walk to the next tube station or use the stairs instead of the lift. If your car journey takes 5 minutes chances are it’s only a mile away which means that it would take you 20 minutes to walk. Consider walking rather than driving, if you can do this once or twice a week you will start to feel the benefit.  
  • Get outside. Walk in an open space or wooded area if possible once a week, the Japanese practise of ‘forest bathing’ can help to lower stress and promote a feeling of calmness. Being amongst trees and green spaces is good for us fundamentally. Studies have shown that people relax best amongst the colours green and blue. This is an example of how you can get into mindfulness. Click here for more information https://time.com/5259602/japanese-forest-bathing/  
  • Communication. Really important to tell people who you are living with, how you are feeling. If you don’t communicate, they won’t know how you are feeling. Also, if you share some of your feelings with your colleagues you may be pleasantly surprised that you are not alone. Then you can swap ideas of how to manage things in this transition into full time work or working differently again.

If you are feeling as if you are ‘stuck’ or unable to make decisions, Live Life Not Strife provide personal and business coaching which help you overcome anxiety and stress. Our resident psychologist Adriana Summers and her team have assisted tens of thousands of clients. 

We have been working remotely since March with private consultations via Skype or Zoom, to find out how we can help you, email us [email protected] or call us for a confidential chat on 01625 786026. You can also call Adriana directly on +447980 667103.  

https://www.facebook.com/livelifenotstrife

Live Life Not Strife. 

Tiny tips for living a fuller, happier life! 

Being kind is good for your health!

In these strange and unusual times, it’s inevitable to become wrapped up in the current pressure of living. With all the additional pressures, it’s easy to forget about the simple act of being kind. 

The list is endless, occupying the children, worrying about work, getting yourself kitted up with PPE to undertake a shift at work or working from home, perhaps with a child as well. It can seem to take over and the weeks fly by without you realising that you’ve not spoken to that friend of yours for ages or your elderly aunt.  

You might find you’re much busier and your patience is wearing thin with the little things that may not have bothered you previously. It’s becoming almost too much to bear in the current climate. With rules and guidance changing on a daily basis (it seems) this creates underlying uncertainty and anxiety without you realising. You may find yourself acting out of the ordinary and feeling wound up at the slightest thing. Now is a good time to stop and remind yourself to be kind, it’s needed more than ever!  

You have to start with being kind to yourself. Give yourself 5 minutes to relax, practice some deep breathing – (click the link for breathing exercises https://www.facebook.com/livelifenotstrife/posts/2752713634951953), and tell yourself ‘I am a good person’ whether you believe it or not, make it your own personal mantra! Or if you can’t do that, think of something you’ve done that makes you feel good. This promotes a sense that whatever happens you’re good enough! It will increase your self-confidence and help you to act kindly to others.  

Smile! A basic staple in being kind. You’ll find it gives you a lift if you can remember to smile, even if you force yourself to smile, there is years of research into this very topic that proves smiling can help you to relax and boost the immune system. It turns out my mum was right when she cajoled me into “turning those corners up!” when I was sulking over something as a child. If you smile you can almost instantly feel better, it creates physiological changes in the body and releases feel good hormones. Also, it uses less muscles in the face than frowning and who wants frown lines! A smile creates smiles from others with very little effort. Smile at someone you pass in the street – even if you’re wearing a mask, you can smile with your eyes! You may just make their day a little brighter and chances are you will receive a smile back from them which in turn feels good.  

Do something for others as often as you can, but don’t forget to do something nice for you too. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the reactions you get back and it will help you reduce your own stress. 

A kind deed can prompt others to be kind, you can be the catalyst of a chain of kindness if you make the first step. Who knows where the chain will lead to! For example, For many years, when I visited my London office every Wednesday, a gentleman who I don’t know from Adam, would always say “Hello” to me as he was letting himself into his office at the same time, and I would say the same back. This basic pleasantry in passing was enough to give me a little lift as I began my day. It made a difference. We can make our own and other people’s lives better and happier with simple acts of kindness.   

Another example is when the Duchess of Cambridge spoke at the National Oak Academy online assembly for school children, this year, about the importance of being kind and how being kind in itself creates a good feeling for those carrying out the kind deed and for the receiver. It seems simple, but is easily forgotten in our busy lives. 

A friend’s mum used to say “whatever you do in life, always be happy and always be kind” it may be advice that isn’t always easy to follow but is certainly something you should aspire to because now we know the science behind this. Choosing to feel happy and small acts of kindness actually change how our brain functions and reduce stress, by changing brain activity, together with other things it builds emotional resilience. 

If you’re finding things difficult at the moment and would like to feel happier in your life, we can help. 

Live Life Not Strife 
We’re available for remote consultations, for a confidential chat on how we can help 
you contact us on 01625 786026/+447980 667103 or email [email protected] 

Please visit our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/livelifenotstrife 

Tiny tips towards living a fuller happier life!