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While a lot of people have found a sense of ease while working from home, there's still a great percentage of people who are waiting to get back to the office as it's difficult to unplug from work while at home. The boundaries, for many, are compromised, with a burnout on the rise. The thought of going back to the office causes stress and trepidation for many owing to the fear of the virus, pondering over childcare options, worrying about the time in commute, etc.
These fears and uncertainties aren't irrational nor surprising given the many unexpected changes our brains have adjusted with, in the last one and a half years. This transition to 'back-to-office' life won't be easy for most of us as the impact of the pandemic on the psyche is intense. The drive, values, goals, fears and approach have shifted immensely and the overall psychological shift demands changes at work too. The workplace will never be the same again -- different, better; but not the same.
Engulfed in the fear of the next wave of the virus, with lesser restrictions, people are trying to resume normalcy. It is paramount to prepare ourselves mentally to get back to the office with passion and vigour and make it a successful transition. Here are some things to consider:
Plan and rehearse
Planning helps in disarming anxiousness. Don't just rehearse a normal workday in your head -- put it on paper and then follow it. Wake up, dress up, have breakfast and plan the day as you normally would when going to the office. Understand the science of habits and operate accordingly. Give yourself the allowance to build new habits. You can visualize and write down what it is like to be at your workstation -- the files needed, access card, drawer keys, lunch, etc. This will help you to prepare better and feel more in control.
Be patient with others
It's okay to need time to readjust to the work, to mingle with teams and focus on productivity. Be kind and patient when dealing with co-workers, subordinates and seniors as they may all be going through their share of anxiety. Set out your expectations. Pivot, if need be, to face challenges gradually. Find your space and also hold a safe non-judgmental space for others to sound off their concerns while dealing with the transition. A supportive, flexible environment is essential to stoke performance.
Prioritise effective communication
At the office, there will be changes in the way people communicate due to the safety protocols and this would mean changes at workstations, cafe areas and other rules and regulations. These should be known and communicated to all through emails, messages and calls. In practice, know that there still may be people who would like to ignore the protocol but you should lead by example. Enforce the change through practice and effective communication. Do not let the new rules impair the connection or flow at work. Offer support wherever you can and ask for help when you need it.
Keep your workstations clutter-free so that you don't feel overwhelmed when you resume work in the office. Also, it is essential to keep our minds clutter-free. Journal your thoughts to keep overthinking at bay. Use breathing exercises, stretching and mindfulness as tools to stay grounded during the breaks at work. Place some happy colourful pictures around to keep stress away. Keep some plants around. Keep water and nutritious food handy to avoid dehydration or hunger for a longer duration.
It is the ability to recognize when your attention is shifting to unproductive activities instead of planned tasks at hand. Attention management enables us to deliberately cut off from distractions and create opportunities that support our vision and goals. This can be done by being in the present moment, practising mindfulness, finding the flow and maximizing focus on things that are essential for progress.
Be kind to yourself
Take it easy. Don't compare your coping skills with others around you. We all process things differently and it's okay to take a while to get used to the 'new normal. Be honest to yourself about your feelings and take inventory of things you are struggling with. Be open to giving and receiving feedback. Communicate your boundaries to others and stick to them. Focus on solutions and you are sure to come out stronger. In case of extreme anxiety, be willing to seek assistance from an expert.
While getting back to the office may be a breath of fresh air clubbed with apprehensions, it is imperative to ensure peace of mind, sound mental and emotional health along all the safety considerations. The unpredictability has heightened our sense of adaptability and with resilience, we can successfully navigate through this transition.
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Remember, our mindset controls a lot in our lives. We can't control what happens outside but we can surely control the meaning we attach to all that and how we react/respond to each of those things. Use language and thoughts that are empowering. You aren't 'going back to anything; you are 'going forward in life. Focus on the momentum and not regression. Keep your energetic and emotional state high and you will be able to adapt to the environment with ease.
(The author is Chandni Tugnait, MD (A.M) Psychotherapist, Life Alchemist, Coach and Healer, Founder and Director, Gateway of Healing.) (IANS/AD)
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday asked the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) to prevent dumping of toxic wastes in India. Speaking at an event to celebrate DRI's 64th foundation day, Sitharaman lauded DRI's compact strength of about 800 officers for their relentless efforts despite the imminent risks. The Finance Minister stated that the officers may be keeping a low profile, but they are acting like the frontline defence forces, doing spectacular work in safeguarding the economic frontiers of the country. "The recent smuggling attempts of huge quantities of narcotics, gold, red sanders, ivory, cigarettes etc. unearthed by DRI were appreciated by the Finance Minister," the Ministry of Finance said in a statement.
"Sitharaman said that the message through such enforcement actions should be such that these acts of brazen attempts at smuggling are nipped in the bud," the statement added. The Finance Minister also said that better coordination among the law enforcement and intelligence gathering agencies and sharing of actionable intelligence are the way forward in protecting the frontiers of the country more efficiently. "Sitharaman also asked the DRI to focus on interdicting dual use technology items as well as preventing the dumping of toxic wastes in our country," the statement said. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Nirmala Sitharaman, India, Toxic Wastes)
Tech giant Amazon has expanded the sound detection capabilities of Alexa along with more features. Alexa can now identify the sounds of running water and appliances beeping, reports Android Central. This means users can set up an Alexa routine to notify themselves when the washer beeps to indicate that laundry is finished, the report said.
When Alexa detects that the faucet has been left open, it will send users a notification as well so they can take appropriate action, it added. Amazon previously said at its event in September that it would add the ability to programme Alexa to recognise custom sounds, but that feature has yet to arrive. Having said that, the two new sound detection capabilities not only help users save energy, but they also make it easier to avoid paying for unnecessary charges on your home utilities, the report said.
The retail giant has also announced ultrasound motion detection, which will allow you to set up "Occupancy Routines" on additional Echo devices. This feature allows your smart speaker to detect nearby motion and initiate a routine, such as turning on the lights. It is compatible with many of the best Alexa speakers including the 4th-gen Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Dot with Clock. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: laundry, appliances, beeping, running water, Sound, Alexa , Amazon)
By Olivia Sarkar
Comforting Christmas cocktails help you enjoy the celebrations and get into the festive spirit. The Leela Palaces, Hotels, and Resorts offer distinctive cocktails ranging from Hot Toddies to Decadent Egg Nogs. Sit back and enjoy one martini at a time to make the festive season a little brighter.
Dirty Chai Eggnog:
30 ml Bourbon
30 ml Baileys
90 ml Hot milk tea
Sweet cream foam to top up
Cinnamon powder and star anise.
1. In a heavy bottomed med sauce pot, prepare tea with milk. Strain and let it cool.
2. In a cocktail shaker add egg white, Bourbon, Baileys with whole spices. Shake well.
3. Pour the tea in the glass followed by ingredients from cocktail shaker.
4. Garnish with nutmeg and cinnamon powder, whole star anise
Eggnog is a Christmas favourite that is accustomed to toasts for good health and prosperity.| Pikist
Inspired by the Christmas Spirits and holiday flavours is a wonderful concoction of warm whisky, sweet vanilla, and thick butter.
45 ml Butter fat washed Whiskey
20 ml Ginger bread syrup
15 ml Spiced Apple liquor
2 dashes of Bitters
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1. Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker
2. Shake well
3. Pour into an old-fashioned glass
4. Garnish with Gingerbread cookie
Inspired by the Christmas Spirits and holiday flavors is a wonderful concoction of warm whisky, sweet vanilla, and thick butter. | Flickr
(Keywords: Santa's Apple, Egg Nogs, December, Cocktail, Cocktail, Christmas, holiday, celebrations)