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The Anxiety of Coming Back to Work and How to Kick It

It happens to all of us. Even if you love your job, the ease of summer (even if you have been working) can be a daunting thing to let go of, because suddenly, it’s as if things “get serious” again in September.

They do, and they don’t. And what this post is dedicated to is how to launch again with confidence and peace, (even if secretly you might not want to).

I used to always say to myself things like “it’s going to be crazy busy”, “I’m going to have to really push”, etc. And of course there is some truth to it because it is as if the whole world wakes up again in September, and workload almost always ramps up.

It’s just that this “self-prep” of trying to anticipate and prepare for it all wasn’t maybe the most helpful.

Yes, things get more hectic once again. But we have been doing this as long as we can remember. That’s how we know to prepare for it. Which also means that this is not our first rodeo, we know what we are doing.

So here are a few tips for how to launch and minimise your anxiety in the process:

 

1) Control your “Inner Demon”

When you feel yourself tensing up or internally (or externally) saying things that will only stress you more, consciously shift your perception. Is it easy? Perhaps no. Is it as much fun as drinking daiquiris on the beach? Likely not.

But there can also be a great satisfaction in starting a new season, feeling productive again, and the security of a daily or weekly routine that for many of us, makes us feel grounded and “normal” (especially if you have been entertaining kids all summer).

Many of us nurture the fantasy of how awesome it would be to never have to work again or be inconvenienced in any way possible. And yet, the reality is that if we truly had that for forever, we would likely get bored and lose meaning and purpose in our lives.

In achieving our goals, personal and professional. In raising our kids and watching them grow. In earning a living that hopefully gives us a sense of utility, capability, and confidence in our adult lives.

There are people, who for various reasons, cannot have this. Many of them. They would do great things to have that opportunity and power. This is not to make us feel guilty, just mindful of what we have.

 

2) Make it easy for yourself

Even if you think you have it all figured out in your head, don’t keep it in your head. It just adds extra pressure. Take the steps you need, in your particular way of living and working, to make things as easy as possible.

Make lists. I do that and even create diagrams or excel spreadsheets as needed. Use apps that will motivate and organise you. Update your calendars and create new ones if necessary to track the critical areas of your life for this season – your marketing campaigns or product launches, team organisation, your children’s priorities and key events of the season.

Take it out of your head and put it on paper so you can look at it, reflect, and make better decisions for what’s truly important.

 

3) Get help and make appointments NOW

Each season we encounter a list of things from the previous one that are pending, and new ones that are relevant going forward.

I’ve found that, even if you are transitioning reluctantly into the new season, if you can harness some focus and energy despite that, you can get amazing progress relatively quickly.

But you may likely need help or at the very least, it requires reserving time with others – doctors, lawyers, teachers, consultants, coaches, physical trainers, etc.

Catch the wave of your “reluctant transition” and before you enter the steady grind of a new season, make all those appointments immediately and even think of more that you may have missed, who could really help you in your ventures.

There is something unique in that hazy hangover of the “I’m back from summer but not yet fully immersed in fall” that if you channel right, can have you fully organised, and even inspired.

 

4) Give yourself a break

Just because summer is over doesn’t mean that you are no longer entitled to time for yourself, with loved ones, and just to get away and disconnect to recharge your batteries. We can feel guilty that now that we have officially entered the new work/school season, thinking about time off is lazy or indulgent.

Absolutely NOT!

We all, regularly, need time to rest, disconnect, and enjoy. And we also need positive incentives to keep us motivated. So be smart, be proactive, and schedule that time in NOW.

My favourite trick, that I keep talking about, is booking little weekends away in advance. It’s so easy and you can always cancel at the last moment, if you truly need to. But once they are on your calendar and reserved, it’s much harder to take them out. And you will be surprised how easy it can be to work around them.

Do you have a favourite gym class? Art class? Music class? Coaching or therapy session? Massages or something related? Monthly lunches/dinners with friends and family? Secret personal projects? Whatever it may be, take advantage of the start to this season to set them up in advance and give your agenda some much needed and deserved relief.

Also, it’s okay to feel off, slow, and tired. As you adapt to the new rhythms again, you will find your way.  We all feel it sometimes. Try not to reflect too much on that and use the simple steps above to give yourself the best start possible.

 

We are always here for you, so let us know what you are thinking. And we’d love to hear your own ideas about how to make this new season, that much more special.

 

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