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How to Approach Work After Lockdown

20 August 2020

As the lockdown restrictions begin to change following the announcement of the South African government’s new graded risk-adjusted strategy, you might find getting back into your work routine somewhat challenging – especially since we don’t know what the new normal in a work environment may look like. Although you may need to make some adjustments as new regulations roll out, having a clear strategy will make settling in easier.

Follow these tips to help you get back into ‘work mode’.

Be Mindful of Your Surroundings

Day one might feel completely surreal since many people haven’t been in a formal work environment for more than a month. It’s important to take a moment and acknowledge this instead of throwing yourself in at the deep end.

The following strategies might help:


When you’re feeling overwhelmed, concentrate on your breathing and allow yourself to become more mindful of where you are in real time. One way to do this is through heart breathing: a method of deep breathing by inhaling and exhaling through your heart.

According to the American Institute of Stress, heart breathing activates the relaxation response, which lowers your heart rate, blood pressure and slows your breathing.


You don’t need any special training to find some quiet time to acknowledge and deal with feelings of anxiety. This is something you can control, which is important when it feels as though so much is out of your control.

Try Deepak Chopra’s one-minute meditation at your desk:

  • Take a moment to pause and stop what you’re doing
  • Focus on your breathing – inhale and exhale deeply
  • Observe and ask yourself: Who am I? What do I want? What am I grateful for?

Be Grateful

Expressing gratitude is a simple yet effective way to keep yourself grounded. When you are least grateful, you are most in need of what gratitude provides – perspective. Writing down what you’re grateful for allows you to be more optimistic, relish good experiences and build stronger relationships.

Share Stories About Lockdown

Corporate life coach, Naeela Cajee, says sharing stories with your colleagues about your time away from work and what you may have learnt during the lockdown can help you to settle back into your work routine. Perhaps you learnt that eating at your desk isn’t a great idea or having a catch-up with your team first thing in the morning is a good way to start the day.

Re-evaluate Your Vision

‘There’s no better time than right now to take stock of your life and think about your “why”. “Why am I doing this [work]?”, “What do I hope to achieve?”,’ explains Naeela.

Taking the time to celebrate your strengths and refuel your purpose will keep you inspired and motivated to accomplish the professional goals you have set for yourself.

Establish New Objectives

Naeela believes long-term goals are important – but smaller, more targeted goals are what you need right now. Short wins will make you feel more productive.

Get Started

You might feel overwhelmed, but effective planning is one way to take back control. Make a daily to-do list and tick off tasks as you complete them. This tracks your productivity, while helping you manage your workload.

This article is published courtesy of CareWays.

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