It has been more than 2 years since the pandemic ravaged daily life. You’re not disappointed if you have been waiting for your job and your daily routine to adjust to a new post-pandemic normal. Because there is no consensus on what normal means. Some people enjoy working at home. Some people hate it. One thing is certain? The 9-to-5 default is not coming back. It’s up to you now to control what you can and create your best daily routine.
This piece is for those of you who have entered a hybrid office/part-time life. However, it also applies to all people dealing with uncertainty at work. This is something I have had to learn how to navigate. Before the pandemic, my life was chaotic. I am always on the move. When and where clients have the time, I connect with them. It is rare for me to have a “normal” daily life. However, instead of depending on the outside for stability, I have learned to use routines as a way to stay grounded in chaos. This can be helpful no matter what your profession is.
Morning is often the time when you have the most control. You have just slept, so you’ve cleared out some space in your head. Do not rush to fill it up with emails, TikToks, or news. While some people keep their phones in another place, it doesn’t work in hotels. Before I go to bed, I switch my phone to airplane mode.
You want to encourage your body’s natural wake up rhythms by taking a deep breath before you look at your phone in the morning. I take 10 deep breathes and then do 10 twists on my wrists, ankles and trunk. I enjoy tea but don’t eat right away. I don’t want to eat too much of what I have been eating since dinner. motility is an important concept in the mornings. It refers to how well your digestive system is functioning, which trunk twists can help stimulate. You can get a hint from your natural digestive process. After you have twisted and gone to the toilet, the digital deluge can begin.
Prior to the pandemic commutes were a common thing. They might feel like a waste now that they are returning. It’s not a waste of time. It is a gateway between activities that can help to reset. You can use this moment to increase your mental and emotional resilience whenever you cross a threshold. Deep breaths are a good idea. Roll your neck and shoulders and assess your posture.
OWN YOUR WORKDAY
The goal is consistency, no matter where you are working on a given day. Begin by setting up your workspace with intention. This was something I had to learn the hard way. I found it difficult to focus when I looked at my computer screen too much. No matter where I’m at the moment, I always set up my computer in front of a window. After a long period of work, it will take me a while to move my eyes through various distances and depths. This is just one aspect. An ergonomic mouse or external keyboard are better for your wrists and tendons than a laptop. While you may not always be able to have a perfect standing desk, you can set up a timer that reminds you to get up and move around.
Also, I urge you to plan your work meals carefully. Many people are overeating. However, many of us are undernourished. It’s easy to grab something quick that isn’t nutritionally sound or eat nothing at all when you’re tired. So, I started to plan my meals. I even plan what I will eat. It doesn’t mean you have to be obsessed with meal planning. I just want you to make conscious choices about how you eat. This is especially true if you are switching from healthy lunches prepared in your kitchen to healthier options at work. Do not let your coworkers make bad food choices.
In fact, resist workplace peer pressure in general. You’re likely to have some peculiarities if you work from home. Although you might be self-conscious about how your ergonomic gear looks or how you stretch around others, it’s likely that your coworkers feel the same way. They will get it.
EXERCISE FOR WINDING DOWN
It’s a common argument that morning or evening exercise is better. It doesn’t really matter physiologically. You just have to get moving each day. However, one of the best reasons to exercise after work is for the unstructured feeling that post-pandemic life can give you.
We have already discussed how to get up in the morning with some stretching. Now, use movement to improve your day. It could be as simple as going to the gym or a walk that clears your head. It should be enjoyable. It can be hard to love your job but there is a downside to all that. You shouldn’t punish yourself by exercising. Go home and prepare a healthy dinner. Then, relax with something that you enjoy. This will help you fall asleep. Then, get up and go again.