February 2, 2016

5 Tips To Transition Back To Office Life (Again)

What Mandy Thinks: Words of Advice post via www.whatmandythinks.com
Most of my 2015 was spent working from home.  My boss was gracious enough to let me work from home to be readily available for more time zones than my own, which meant pj days ALL THE DAYS and crocheting during conference calls.  I took naps during the afternoon and submitted project requests at midnight between an eating schedule of "whenever I got hungry" and "happened to be awake."

When this boss moved on at the end of the year, my from-home days were numbered.  Now I'm told I have to... *shudder* drive during commute hours to sit in an office?  Dressed in normal person clothes and normal person makeup?  Away the whole day without naps?!  Like a NORMAL PERSON?

My cat, pajamas, and crochet hooks are sad to see me go as I'm back to the old grind after the gloriously lethargic year.  How am I dealing with going back to reality?

1) Making use of all my separation time between work and play.  I'm getting up earlier than I'd like to have more alone time awake in the morning.  I'm eating lunch in the office kitchen at a socially acceptable time to watch silly videos on my little screen so I'm not tempted to work and eat simultaneously.  I'm taking a walk outside at the lull of mid-afternoon to keep my motivation up throughout the day and get some fresh air.  I know myself well enough that I'm gonna burn out of if I have too much of one thing for a long stretch of time, so keeping things separate frequently like this utilizes each piece of my day to its fullest.

2) Forcing a set sleep schedule.  I wake up with Jesus now, a far cry from taking conference calls from bed at 4am and getting up out of bed whenever I had my next call or task to be done for that particular day.  In order to keep my Sleepy Mandy self to my new set schedule, I wake up to my radio show from their live hours of six am to ten STRAIGHT THROUGH with commercials while getting ready for my commute and get into the office (instead of downloading the commercial-free files later for my afternoon distracting me when I should be working).  Forcing myself down at night by the turn of the day to be awake at the same time every-single-morning was mentally painful those first few days, but it's getting easier as I get used to this previous normal again.

3) Moving around more, ie more walking and (attempting to) getting back to the gym a few days week.  Although I should prove that I've gained weight via scale, I'm going to ignore doing this and assume I have anyway being so sedentary for this past year.  My apartment complex HAS A FREE GYM, so darnit I need to use it occasionally to get my money's worth!  And all the happy, fuzzy feelings I get after I get my heart pumping keep my mind off work that overtakes my mind with the increased exposure to NORMAL PERSON stresses outdoors.  My diet may not change much in all honesty.  At least I'm moving more than the daily trip to the basement of the building to check the mail.

4) PODCASTS.  I'm so obsessed with music that I get carried away with how much I actually listen per day or get overwhelmed by my own massive collection that will never stop expanding, so I tried out some podcasts for size over the last year.  Now I'm timing them out - along with my radio show - to listen in the morning while I get ready and listen through both trips in the car per day.  It gets me excited to drive again because I know when I can get to my car I'm going to listen to whichever episode I'm preparing for that day during my two 20-30 minute drives to be seen at the office.

5) Checking myself (before I wreck myself).  There were things I took for granted when I was solely from-home.  Although I'll miss what I used to have - don't we all - I'm making sure I check for the values I place on the world around me as I go about my day.  The relief I feel taking off my bra after a long day, the drive home Friday at the start of TWO FULL DAYS AWAY for myself, eating lunch with coworkers... the list goes on.  I need these things to remember this basic adult life is worth all the blah's and meh's throughout the day that I didn't have when I just had me, four walls, and a cat to manage.  It's the whole "can't understand joy without knowing pain" or whatever the quote is.  I had a straight line in the middle the whole day working from home.  Now I have ups and downs to make the ups feel GREAT and the downs worth the greatness of the ups.

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