Back to School/Work by Kat Reese
If you’re a teacher like me, you may have spent the last year and a half with your bum glued to a computer chair, staring into the abyss of Zoom room, listening to the silence after you’ve posed a non-rhetorical question to your class. Or, you may be like so many others out there, working from home throughout the pandemic and now transitioning back into in-person work and events while the kids go back to school and sports.
This transition is going to take some getting used to, not just for our brains, but also for our bodies. We’ve been running an emotional marathon through COVID, but many of us have let our physical fitness slip between the couch cushions. It’s time to dig it out and get moving! Here are some top tips for returning to work after a year on your tush!
1. Take it easy
Don’t expect to be back at it immediately. If your job is like mine, and you stand, walk, bend, squat, and lift for a significant part of the day, realize this may be challenging if you’re just coming off of working from home. Ask for help, take breaks, and don’t over-do it. As a friend once said to me regarding snowboarding, “Ride for tomorrow”. It’s no use to work yourself to death one day and not be able to move the next.
2. Do preventative maintenance
I don’t mean taking your car to the shop, I mean the little exercises that you know you ‘should’ be doing, but don’t! That could be physical therapy exercises you’ve been given, stretches you avoid, or a daily yoga practice. There are little things we can do that keep our bodies moving properly that are going to prevent injury. They aren’t usually the big, fun things like HIIT workouts or whitewater kayaking. They’re the boring, slow, often tiny movements that take care of our bodies long-term and keep us from breaking. Prehab (or preventative rehabilitation) is great for preventing injury. Some examples:
3. Start a routine
I know you’ve probably heard this advice in reference to working from home, but it’s true! Us humans love routines, it helps us to relax and it takes some of the constant work of choosing out of the way. Don’t wait for the day your boss calls you all back into the office, or the first day of school, do it now! Practice how you will wake up, prepare meals, exercise, meditate, ect. before you have to start adding a commute to your day. (And if you’re already there, try a test-run on the weekend and continue through the week!) I recommend the Miracle Morning that I recently started practicing. There’s even a 6 minute speed version for busy days!
And remember, this is all new territory for all of us. We’ve experienced a pandemic AND a revolution in how we work, communicate and interact with the world around us. Give yourself space to adjust and find ways to take care of yourself.