So you are getting ready to go back to work, and you have been away for a while on stress leave. Given your recent fragile state that necessitated going on leave a few weeks ago, it is imperative to not overload your plate again, as your coping skills were not able to head off the stressors that became overwhelming for you. Here are some tips on returning to work from stress leave:
- Get adequate rest. Make sure you have enough sleep at night, and stick to a structured sleep-wake schedule. Try to go to bed at the same time every night, and wake up the same time every day, even on weekends and holidays.
- Exercise. Exercise helps to relieve stress. Exercise is a good way to dissipate nervous energy from anxiety. The endorphins released during exercise gives you a sense of well-being and reduced overall anxiety levels.
- Eat right. Eat nutritious food throughout the day to help give you enough fuel and energy to make it through a gruelling work day. Make sure to eat a hearty breakfast to get your day started off right, and to schedule time for snacks in the mid-morning before lunch, mid-afternoon after lunch, and after dinner right before bed. Aim for 3 meals and 3 snacks per day.
- Fellowship. It is important to find fellowship and connect with your friends and family. Your support network can help you by just being there to listen to you.
- Balanced schedule. Don’t overload your schedule, as this may have led to you being stressed out at work in the first place. Don’t take on too much at work and at home…ease into your return to work by not placing too much on your schedule.
- Give yourself more time. Get to work earlier so that you can have more time to further prepare for the day’s work. This allows you to anticipate any problems that may arise, and allows you to get your day started off right.
- Be good enough. Just do the basic roles of your job. You don’t need to take on more than your job description.
- Catch yourself thinking negatively. If you find yourself thinking negatively, redirect it by thinking more positive thoughts. If you can’t refocus your thinking, then try doing something different to distract yourself from your negative thoughts.
- Take scheduled breaks. Step away from your desk and either take a walk or sit quietly. This allows you to relax and recharge, so that you can continue with your workday.
- Focus on what you can control. Don’t worry about things you can’t control. Just focus on the things where you can affect the outcome.
The final tip in returning to work from stress leave is to build coping skills to deal with anxiety and stress. Sites like AnxietyBoss.com can help you to build coping skills and eradicate anxiety and stress from your life.