Returning to work and school after a period of rest can be a psychological challenge for many people. The change of pace, responsibilities and expectations can generate a series of emotions and thoughts that impact our mental health, and make us feel exhausted or even overwhelmed by the situation. Therefore, we are going to try to delve a little deeper into what the so-called “back to school” entails and how we can prevent it from negatively affecting us.

Change as an enemy

One of the main reasons why returning to work and school can be psychologically difficult is natural resistance to change: strong> during the holidays, it is common that we have established a different routine or even that we have forgotten our routines completely. Because of this, the return to structure and responsibilities can be overwhelming.

How to overcome this resistance to change?

  1. Planning ahead: It is always helpful to prepare ahead of time. Before returning to work or school, create a to-do list and organize your agenda. This will help you feel a little more in control.
  2. Maintain elements of your vacation routine: If there have been relaxing activities or hobbies during the vacation that have helped you feel good, try to integrate them into your daily routine. This can help smooth the transition and discover new ways to support your stability.
  3. Talk about your feelings: Share your concerns and feelings with friends and family. Many times, simply talking about what you feel can relieve anxiety.

Post-vacation stress

Post-vacation stress is a common phenomenon that can affect people’s mental health when they return to work or school.

This type of stress is characterized by feelings of anxiety, sadness, and even fatigue. It may be due to the pressure to meet expectations, the fear of work overload, or the feeling that the vacation has passed too quickly and we have not enjoyed it enough. .

How to handle the stress of returning to work?

  1. Set realistic goals: Avoid setting unrealistic expectations about what you can accomplish on your first day or week back. Instead, define achievable goals and clear priorities.
  2. Practice self-care: spend time doing activities that relax you and help you recharge, such as meditation, exercise, reading or just enjoying quality time with yourself.
  3. Talk to your employer or teacher: If you feel that the workload is excessive, it is important that you communicate this to your employer or teacher. Open communication can lead to finding appropriate or consensual solutions.

Performance anxiety

Performance anxiety is common when we return to work or school. We worry about whether we will be able to maintain the level of performance we had before the holidays or whether we will be able to meet the expectations that others have of us, and this leads to a peak anxiety that can affect us greatly.

Managing anxiety

  1. Focus on the process, not the results: Instead of constantly worrying about the end result, focus on completing your tasks and responsibilities in the best way possible. It is proven that performance improves when we focus on the present.
  2. Accept mistakes as learning opportunities: we start from the basis that no one is perfect. If you make mistakes, don’t beat yourself up, and instead see each mistake as an opportunity to learn and grow.
  3. Seek support: If you notice that performance anxiety is affecting your mental health, consider seeking support from a mental health professional. Therapy can provide you with tools to manage anxiety effectively.

Dangerous social expectations

Another factor that can generate stress and anxiety when returning to work and school are social expectations. We often feel pressure to meet the expectations of our colleagues, bosses, classmates, teachers and parents, and this can lead us to question our own abilities and experience insecurity.

How to deal with social expectations

  1. Set limits: Learn to say “no” when necessary. You shouldn’t feel obligated to take on all the responsibilities or meet all the expectations of others. Prioritize your own needs and well-being.
  2. Communicate your needs: If the expectations are unrealistic or overwhelming, talk to the people involved. Honest communication can help align expectations with what you can really achieve and strengthen your relationship.
  3. Cultivate self-confidence: work on strengthening your self-esteem and self-confidence. Remember your past achievements and recognize your skills and knowledge. This self-confidence will help you face social expectations with greater confidence.

Adaptability when returning to work

Ultimately, returning to school and work involves adapting to a new set of circumstances and challenges. Adaptability and resilience are crucial skills in modern life, as they allow us to face changing situations with security and confidence. strong>.

Resilience also allows us to remain flexible and recover from obstacles with a positive attitude. Learning to adapt to new demands and challenges can help us cope with returning to work and school more effectively.

Time management during the return to work

Time management is essential to successfully face the return to work and school. Lack of effective time management can lead to stress, procrastination, and feeling overwhelmed by tasks and responsibilities.
We talk a lot about this topic, but how do I manage my time effectively during back to school? Everyone can do it in their own way, but we want to help you with some tips:

  • Prioritize tasks: Identify the most important and urgent tasks and tackle those first. Use techniques such as the Eisenhower matrix to categorize tasks based on their importance and urgency. If you want to try it, it is available in the ASANA task manager sources.
  • Set daily goals: Every day, define specific and achievable goals. This will help you stay focused and motivated as you move forward with your responsibilities.
  • Eliminate distractions: Identify distractions around you and take steps to eliminate or reduce them. This may include turning off phone notifications or creating a quiet, secluded workspace as much as possible.

Self-care and return to work

Self-care is essential to maintain mental health during the return to work and school. Neglecting self-care can lead to exhaustion and lack of satisfaction in everyday life.

Some things that we can include in a good self-care routine are:

  • Take care of your physique: use of masks, creams, play sports, go for a walk…
  • Awareness of emotional well-being: relaxing through meditation, a good bath or even light reading.
  • Disconnection: although it is difficult, especially with the presence of smartphones, it is important to get away from work or studies daily to avoid < strong>burnoutand exhaustion. Good ways to disconnect are the leisure activities that you like the most.
  • If you don’t feel well, seek support: if you don’t want to go to a professional (which, as we always repeat, is the most recommended), you can talk to your closest environment and, at least, vent a little and explain what is happening to you.

Remember that, if you need help or feel overwhelmed with returning to school and work, you can contact us without obligation.


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