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  • Writer's pictureTOVI's Science Communicator, Ashley Miller-Dykeman, M.A.

Tips for Changing Your Routine (Again)

Woman returning back to the office post-pandemic
Photo: FatCamera/iStock

Adjusting to changes in your routine, like having to go back into the office or engage directly with others, can be daunting. Here are some tips for coping with some common problems associated with changing a routine.

Going back to the office? Get prepared.

Learn about the safety precautions in place before heading back, so you have time to ask questions and express concerns before you’re in an uncomfortable or stressful situation. Then when it’s time to go back, have a plan for maintaining your safety that makes you feel more comfortable.

Here are some things others have done:

  • Wearing two masks or additional PPE

  • Keeping the office door shut to prevent close-quarter conversations

  • Keeping hand sanitizer close and maintaining a schedule for cleaning your workspace

  • Avoiding contact with frequently touched surfaces, like coffee makers

Find your rhythm with the TOVI app

Some people might feel comfortable going maskless; some might want to wear two. But, ultimately, as long as you’re mindful of others’ safety, your comfort and stress levels are the most important things.

Change got you stressed? Take time for self-care.

If there is stress associated with this change, plan time at the end of the day to unwind and do some self-care.

You will likely feel more drained at the end of a day full of change because change can put you on high alert or stress you out, which depletes your energy. This kind of drain is normal, and as you adjust to change, things will get easier! In the meantime, cut yourself some slack if you feel low on energy at the end of the day.

Take time to recharge your batteries with self-care, or activities that take care of you and meet your individual needs. Self-care can be alone time, a workout, a long shower, or time to work on a hobby. What you say goes!

Not sure how to explain your change of routine? Be clear and specific.

Your routine shift might not only affect you. So, how do you tactfully communicate to your friends that you can’t make your lunchtime Peloton rides? Or to your boss that you will no longer be available 24/7?

Give people in your life a heads up about the changes to your schedule and help them prepare for what it means. No need to beat around the bush here - you’re just sharing the facts of your life so others can adapt.

It might feel weird, but being specific helps everyone moving forward. Being vague or broad is a common pitfall in communication that leaves room for assumptions and false interpretations. For example, “I am going back to work next week” leaves lots of space for assumptions and interpretations compared to “I will be back in the office next week, so that means I will be unavailable after I leave the office at 5 PM.”

Adjusting to change can be challenging, but you’ll have a routine and be back in rhythm with a little time and preparation! Even better? You don't have to do it alone. The TOVI app is here to help you every step of the way.

Live a healthy, balanced life with the TOVI app.

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