Mindful Mondays: Mindfulness tips for returning to work

Written by Trisha Bhullar


Most of us have gotten used to the work from home lifestyle, which could make returning to work a difficult task. As countries all over the world slowly reopen, employees are gradually returning to work. What does this mean for your mental health and mindfulness routines? This guide covers the most important mindfulness tips for returning to work.

What is mindfulness and how could it help you at work?

Mindfulness refers to a state of mind where you are focused and calm. It allows you to observe the world around you objectively and achieve a state of tranquillity. This sense of clarity and control is essential in stressful situations, which could often arise at work. Practising mindfulness at work helps you stay cool and collected in the face of difficult teammates, mounting tasks and urgent presentations. Being focused and relaxed is also important in boosting problem-solving skills and leading a team at work.

Mindfulness at work, however, could be important now more than ever. As we’ve acclimatised to the work from home lifestyle, those of us who return to work may struggle with this sudden routine change. Your boss is back to looking over your shoulder, schedules are more rigid and you’re surrounded by teammates all day. This takes a lot of getting used to and could definitely lead to a build-up in stress. Mindfulness, and mindfulness tips, play a crucial role in helping reduce this stress.

Mindfulness tip #1 Manage your time well

Most of us have probably forgotten the nature of time management required of us in the office. Your teammates could flock to you for help at any time, distractions are endless and the noise of office chatter could be frustrating. This probably contrasts drastically with the peaceful, serene work from home environment you’ve immersed yourself in for these past few months. All of these factors make time management essential.

Begin your day with a clear to-do list. This means listing your tasks of the day in order of importance. However, remember to schedule in time for breaks as well. The last thing you need is to feel over-worked on your first week back. Once you have a list of tasks, allocate a time estimate to these tasks. You can plan your time using a range of time tracking techniques, such as the Pomodoro Method. Besides this, you might want to try using a mindfulness time-tracking tool to stay on track with your tasks.

A Timeqube, for example, is an unobtrusive mindfulness tool that indicates the passing of time through a change of color. It’s a simple, seamless tool that helps you keep track of time without the stress of a ticking clock or buzz of a phone timer. Integrating a mindfulness tool like this into your office could be a great way to make your transition back to work much smoother.

banerek timeqube min

Mindfulness tip #2 Practise mindfulness at work

If you’re an avid believer of mindfulness, you might have taken your work from home situation as an opportunity to practise mindfulness more frequently. This could have included meditation breaks, morning meditations or mindful meals. Now, however, as you transition back to the office, the opportunities to practise mindfulness exercises may dwindle. Don’t fret! You just have to adapt your mindfulness exercises to best suit your work environment.

Instead of mindful meals, practise mindful thinking during your commute to work. Take a meditation walk around your office block to substitute the yoga session you would have had at home. Alternatively, tweak your mindfulness schedule and incorporate these exercises into your morning or night routine.

Mindfulness tip #3 Be kind to yourself!

Mindfulness is a lifestyle that requires a lot of adjustment. Your life will always be in a state of change, so be flexible with how you practise mindfulness. It’s okay to temporarily lose track of goals and spend time adjusting to a new routine. Beyond this, it’s important to remember that mindfulness is, at its core, a human exercise about self-awareness. It’s therefore totally fine to understand that you need time to adjust and adapt to a new routine. Above all, be understanding and be kind to yourself during this period of change.