September is usually a time when everyone is refreshed from summer holidays seeing friends, family, and exploring new places. It’s normally around this time that kids who’ve been off for weeks go back to school, resuming their usual routine, learning new things, and seeing friends. It’s a time when offices are alive with a new buzz and energy in the air with plans to conquer the world in the last four months of the year.
This year, however, is not the same. Work situations for nearly everyone have changed, before a week or two ago, kids hadn’t been to school for months. Families have either spent more time together than ever before, or they’ve been kept apart for longer than they’d hoped. And travelling abroad has been a luxury for only a very small handful of people.
For me, I’ve gone from a single full-time job, being in an office in London every day, and living in a flat with my sister, to moving out of London, working 2 part-time jobs at my dining table, and relying on FaceTime to speak to my family each week.
This year has brought so much change for so many, and while this has been a very unusual year, it’s been interesting to see if we have any kind of semblance of that ‘back to school’ September feeling still. The feeling will not be unanimous, but as the initial shock of the pandemic has subsided, and people are realising that life will not return to the ‘normal’ they are used to for a while, there does seem to be that recognisable and familiar feeling of a fresh start with a focus on the run-up to Christmas.
If you haven’t had that feeling, below are five simple ways that you can reset yourself with a positive outlook and good intentions for the rest of the year:
- Create and stick to a schedule
People have reacted to lockdown and being stuck at home very differently. Some have created a schedule and stuck to it. Others have had the best intentions to do the same, but have struggled to implement it. And most common of all, and definitely true for me, people have been inconsistently yoyoing between the two. September is a new start and a perfect chance to set out some goals for the rest of the year with micro-goals that will help you stick to them.
Exercise and wellness is a big goal for lots of people, and with gyms only just having reopened, we’ve have had to adapt to YouTube videos, online classes, and fitness apps. It’s now not the end of the world if you don’t get up and go to the gym, you can get your sweat on in your own house with just the exercise that you actually enjoy doing.
Here are some recommended wellness apps with something for everyone:
- Glo – for your everyday yoga practice
- Sworkit – workouts for beginners
- Strava – compete with friends and track your running
- Nike Training Club (NTC) – select the workouts you enjoy most, set times, specify difficulty, and equipment you have
- Headspace – train yourself to meditate and do it regularly
- 7 Minute workouts – quick workouts when you don’t have much time
- Yoga with Adriene – High-quality free yoga YouTube videos
Whatever your goals for the rest of the year, create a realistic schedule with all the things you want to do and enjoy doing, and try your best to stick to it.
- If you’re working from home, create a nice workspace
For a lot of people, working from home might have been a completely new experience. We may have considered it a short term solution, but six months on and it seems working from home is here to stay in at least some capacity for the majority of people. If this is the case and you’ve been ignoring that back pain from sitting at your dining room table, get yourself a proper office chair and desk, and if you can, an additional monitor/laptop shelf and new mouse/keyboard so you are sitting correctly. Your body will thank you in years to come.
If you’re lucky enough to have a home office, declutter it from all the stuff that’s been dumped in there over the last few months that had no other place to go, and make it a space that you enjoy walking into each morning. Then at the end of your day, be sure to leave your work in there (both physically and mentally), so that you can enjoy some time for yourself or with your family in the evening.
Being at home makes it very easy to forget to take breaks or switch off, so make sure you stretch your legs throughout the day, take a walk at lunchtime, or do small jobs around the house throughout the day to break up your time.
- If you’re going into the office, plan your journey
Going back into an office might be daunting for some people. The first thing to do before you head back in is to check that your office is open and the appropriate measures are in place to keep you and your colleagues safe. This could be with restricted numbers of people in the office (in which case you must book your seat), and that there are sufficient procedures in place to adhere to social distancing. And unless you are absolutely required to travel into work, you should continue to work from home in line with the latest advice.
Only a couple of weeks ago did I go into the Sirenum office for the first time ever to meet some colleagues who for the last 6 months I had only seen through a screen. I was nervous about using public transport, especially through London, but I was pleasantly surprised to see everyone wearing their masks and the usual commuter time crowds had reduced dramatically.
- Embrace this new normal
For a while, it seemed like everyone was sure that things would return to normal in just a few short months, but as the reality of the situation is clearer now, we must stop thinking that this is just a stopgap before returning to our worlds as we knew them before. Getting back there will be a very slow process, so we need to buckle in and go along for the ride.
- Be kind to yourself
No one has ever experienced anything like this before, and with so much changing and going on, don’t be too hard on yourself if you forget to arrange your click and collect order for the perfect time, or if you accidentally don’t leave the house for 5 days straight. Yes, we should be doing the best we can and moving forward with our lives, families, and careers, but also remember that it’s still a very strange time, and when your life changes as dramatically, quickly, and unexpectedly as it has done, we’re not always going to get everything right.
So, whether you already had that familiar ‘back to school’ feeling, or if you had to use the tips above and other ways to force it slightly this year, we hope you’re ready to give your all to the last few months of the year. We know the team at Sirenum certainly are!
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