Updated: Jul 13
1. Get back into a routine
If you’re anything like me, you’ll have fallen out of your usual routine. I’ve gone from waking at 6.30am and getting to bed before midnight to drinking until 2am and waking whenever.
When you’re returning to work from furlough, or even just an extended break, its so important to get back into a vague routine before the big day. Get a decent sleep and you’ll wake up ready to face your first shift back.
2. Clear your mind
Whether its yoga that you use to relax or meditation, take some time to chill. Let your worries go and let yourself focus entirely on what you need to do in the day ahead.
For me it’s writing a to-do list. I sat the evening before I returned from furlough and wrote down every single thing that needed done, whether it was relevant or not – so I had a list of seemingly unrelated items that made up my day. I use a colour coding system, I highlight according to ‘urgent’, ‘when possible’ and ‘no rush’, this lets me work through in order of importance. Plus, the gratification when you finally score them off is great.
3. Change your clothes
So in my case I’m working from home, obviously if you’re travelling to work you’ll get dressed – but I’m going from my bedroom to my home office which is literally like 20 steps so if you don’t get dressed no one gets grossed out. Even if it’s changing from one set of PJ’s to another it puts you into a much fresher headspace.
There were plenty of days on furlough where I stayed in my PJs and didn’t even wash my face, by creating some distinction physically it helps to distance you mentally.
4. Take time to take care of yourself
The desk in my office doubles as a makeup table, so in between video calls and when writing articles I can quickly swipe some cleanser over my face or try out a new shade of eyeshadow.
I’ve never been super outrageous with my makeup but I’ve been trying to use more colour and I’m loving having the chance to. I’ve also never used so many face masks, this is my all time favourite.
5. Get out
This one is obviously very much dependant on the space you have available to you, however with lockdown beginning to unlock, we have more freedom in terms of getting out of our houses.
With the nicer weather, I’ve been taking advantage of it as much as possible. In the mornings Simon leaves at 8am, but we have a coffee together and then when he leaves I can take another into the garden and sit for ten minutes. I’ve been working on my garden through my furlough period, so it’s nice to have a wander and check how each of my plants is coming on.
6. Start afresh
Does anyone else leave the first page in a new notebook blank? I can’t bring myself to write on it, I don’t want to make a spelling mistake or have untidy handwriting. But I love to keep my notepads separate, I have one for my freelance work, one for work courses and my others are for to-do lists and taking notes.
I like to start with a new notebook and a pen with plenty of ink!
7. Reassess your position
Maybe during your furlough you’ve had time to reflect on your role and what your goals are, now might be the perfect time for you to bring this to the fore and make a change.
I took a leap of faith myself and moved into a new role. It wasn’t something I was comfortable with, but sometimes you need a change.
Do you have any tips for people returning to work from furlough that you’d like to share?