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Self Care When Returning To Work In The New Year

Joanna Clare

For many employees in certain working environments such as offices, as the year came to a close, work may not have been as hectic and as busy and this time gave us opportunity to wind down before enjoying a relaxing and somewhat stress free Christmas and New Year break. However, once the door opens for 2023 and there is a full year of work ahead, it can feel somewhat overwhelming especially as you return to a ‘business as usual’ mindset and Christmas already seems in the distant past.

January is traditionally known as the gloomiest month of them all yet with a little self care and prioritising your own wellbeing, you can escape the feelings of despair and look ahead to the forthcoming working year with ever increasing optimism and gratitude.

When it is cold and raining outside, most people instinctively want to wrap up and stay indoors yet being outdoors can boost your mental health quite profoundly. Of course, it is not suggested that you go for a long walk in the freezing rain during your lunch hour! Perhaps enjoying a hot coffee during your morning break under some form of shelter whilst you are wrapped up snugly against the elements -  being aware of the ever changing scents and sounds of nature - can be enough to give you a positive lift. Arranging to have your desk near to a window can allow you to appreciate nature without being outside in it - for example - it can be extremely relaxing to listen to the rain and can help to alleviate stress.

Do not overload yourself with more work than you can handle or is necessary. If you find yourself struggling, ask for help or delegate. Make your wellbeing a priority over everything else.

Give yourself small yet attainable goals throughout the year which you know will make you feel proud of yourself. These could be as simple as steering away from any idle gossiping, exploring avenues for extra training or qualifications, to make your own work your priority as opposed to taking on other people's work or even starting each working day with greeting all your colleagues with a smile or a cheery ‘good morning!’ It is all about what makes YOU feel uplifted.

Ensuring that you eat and drink well after a period of over indulging can also have a huge impact on your physical and mental health. Comfort foods needn't be unhealthy as this is the season for healthy yet filling soups and stews which only take minimal preparation and can be brought to work in flasks.

Your office, work space or your own personal desk can appear rather shabby and bare once the Christmas tree, tinsel and decorations have been put away for yet another year, yet you can easily brighten things up with a few carefully thought out items that are important to you. A potted plant, a vase of flowers,an uplifting print, a pretty coaster or a photograph of a loved one that conjures up happy memories can all serve as a light to get you through the dark month of January.

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