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Thrive tip: Stepping into the next normal

Our world continues to change as we navigate the pandemic. Caring for ourself is more important than ever. We will continue to highlight tips to help you find balance and practice self care.

Our tips are informed by WashU experts in Psychiatry, wellness, leadership development and family care. Faculty, physicians and expert staff provide their perspectives and insight.

Featured Thrive tip: How to prepare for a new routine

As some of us return to campus for the first time in more than a year, how can we prepare for a new routine and experiences?

Start with the basics. Being prepared alleviates uncertainty and reduces stress/anxiety. Make a checklist of all the things you need for a safe and effective return.

Do you have your WashU ID? Office keys? Think of everything from where you will park, what technology you need, healthy snacks and meals, your work attire and of course, your mask! Understand the public health guidelines and be prepared for a fresh start as you re-enter campus.

Add 15 minutes to your morning routine. Readjusting and preparing takes more time than you think. Give yourself the time and space to restart.

Check in with yourself throughout the day. This is an adjustment. Journal your experience, take a moment to breathe and be aware of how you are feeling as you enter a new environment.

Have patience and grace with yourself and others. We’re all navigating this together and coming from different places. People experienced the pandemic differently and faced their own personal and family challenges. Cultivate a culture of care by coming from a place of compassion vs. criticism; embrace hope and practice gratitude.

Make your well-being a priority. How can you build well-being into your day? Did you start a new healthy habit during the pandemic that you want to keep, like preparing healthy meals and snacks, taking a walk during a break, scheduling regular appointments with a counselor or making time for family? Small steps throughout the day can help us stay balanced, focused and healthy. View the employee well-being hub for resources to support your wellness goals, mental health, family care responsibilities and more.

Quick tip: Join the Colorful Choices wellness challenge and stay on track with your fruit and vegetable intake!

For more support on navigating the work environment, view the Workplace hub with details on hybrid, remote and onsite work in the “next normal”.