Return to work : getting started on new habits for 2021

Lessen the effect of stress associated with returning to work by applying a very simple strategy

Thousands of Australians are getting ready to switch back into ‘work-mode’ from ‘holiday-mode’ as we turn the page on 2020and gear up for 2021.

If you are starting to experience changes in the way you are thinking or behaving in the lead up to returning to work, there are some things you can do to lessen the impact of these sometimes overwhelming feelings.  

Research shows us that individuals are more likely to experience higher levels of stress-related effects such as feeling ‘knots’ in the stomach, unusual emotional outbursts and ruminating negative thoughts when they feel they have no control within their situation.

James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, suggests that creating a morning rhythm that is obvious, attractive, easy and satisfying is more likely to set you up for a day in which you are able to reach goals and feel a sense of accomplishment. His work draws from evidence based human behaviour research that has found that habit formation is simply about small changes. When these are intentionally put into action (i.e. morning routine) they become “a vote for the type of person you wish to become.”

In September 2020 a large percentage of our clients that included owners of small businesses and employees, who were all working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic reported they were working longer than normal hours without a demarcation between their work and personal lives. Creating a morning and evening routine that replaced the time that their previous commute to and from their office spent was found to be highly effective in lessening impacts of stress and increasing more positive and optimistic thoughts.

Habits, routines, rhythms don't have to be big to be effective. “The most important part of any new habit is getting started– not just the first time but every time.” James Clear 

So .. it can be as simple as this…


Get up.

Tie your hair.

Grab a coffee.

Clear your desk,

And just START


If you are feeling significantly overwhelmed by the impending return to work date don't hesitate to organise a chat with your employer, manager or HR department who may be able to provide clarity around expectations. Alternatively seek support from your GP or your trusted mental health professional.

If we can help further on your returning to work plan call us on +61 411863333 or email us at

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