Returning To Work In Recovery
Recently, companies have been emailing employees telling them about the plan to come back to the office. For some, this was great news, and for others, this meant they have to leave their comfy pajama-wearing environment. If you’re someone in recovery or a family member of someone in recovery, there are some things you need to be thinking about as the world starts to return to life how it was pre-pandemic.
Here are three things that we think should be on your radar as you return to the office:
Change in Routine
When it comes to recovery, the importance of a consistent routine should be the first thing you think about. A routine helps navigate stressors to balance your day, maintain freedom from choice substances, and incorporate self-care activities. You’ve just spent a year out of the office and are adapting to a “work from home” lifestyle, so going back to the office could totally change that. This doesn’t mean you can’t include some of the same activities you had during WFH life. So, think through how you can rearrange your day to include key activities you need to remain free from substances such as recovery meetings, exercise, meal planning, learning new skills, etc.
Triggers come and go, but those of us in recovery are always here to deal with them. Going back into the office can bring back old triggers that you haven’t thought about in a while or possibly bring up new triggers. These can be anything from driving past the bar you used to stop at for a drink to increased stress from your boss looking over your shoulder again. Before you go back to the office, you should list possible triggers and how you plan to deal with those. It may have been a while since you’ve been in that staff meeting and felt the craving coming on, so it’s essential to have a plan if that happens.
Welcome Back Celebrations
It’s been a while since your coworkers may have seen each other outside of those dreadful Zoom meetings. Being around one another can spark a sense of celebration, and your department may end up planning an event to bask in the camaraderie. Depending on the type of event, you may not be able to attend. I know, I know. That sparks the feeling of being left out and not accepted in the group. Asking the group if they can change the event location or activities is an acceptable request to make. However, if they aren’t willing to change, you’ll most likely have to sit this one out. If that is the case, a great alternative is setting up something with your recovery friends.