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Return to Workplace Practical Guide During and Beyond COVID-19

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Practical Resources


Returning to the workplace could be both a time of joy and fear. Employees will naturally carry their stress into the workplace that was created when at home, when social distancing or if in lockdown.

This stress, fear and grief could be caused by the loss of a loved one, fear of infection, fear of losing their job, current financial loss, and juggling work commitments with family and friend commitments.

1. Five Online resources that may help reduce stress

Being back in a workspace can be equally as stressful as being forced to stay home. It is more important than ever to care for your physical and mental well-being. Here are five wellness apps that will help you overcome stress and anxiety while finding positivity as you transition into your working day.

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Calm

Whether your personal goal is to improve focus, build self-esteem or even achieve better sleep, Calm eases your mind with guided meditation, videos on mindfulness – all while listening to soothing sounds of nature. The app also features sleep stories voiced by famous celebrities – Do try this at home …

02

Reflectly

For those who find meditation too difficult, you may find this the perfect alternative to achieving mindfulness. Reflectly enables you to be more attuned with your thoughts and emotions by asking simple questions about your day and how you felt.

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Happify

How you feel, matters. Whether you're feeling stressed, anxious, depressed, or you're dealing with constant negative thoughts, Happify brings you practical tools to take control of your emotional well-being.

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Breathe2Relax

It’s well documented that breathing exercises help to reduce the body’s "fight-or-flight" stress response, and help with mood stabilisation, anger control, and anxiety management. Breathe2Relax provides detailed information on the effects of stress on the body and instructions and practice exercises to help you learn the stress management skill called "diaphragmatic breathing".

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Headspace

Meditation made simple with guided meditations suitable for all levels from Headspace. Meditation can help improve your focus, exercise mindful awareness, relieve anxiety and reduce stress. Start with its free Take10 programme, and you'll learn the basics of meditation in just 10 minutes a day.



2. Mindfulness Exercises

In these still uncertain times, we all search for information that gives us reassurance about the future. However, while it’s normal to check the news or social media feeds, it can become unhealthy if you find yourself constantly looking at your screen.

This is where mindfulness techniques help. By bringing our consciousness into the present and focusing on aspects of life where we can be positive and grateful, we can reduce our anxiety and bring calm to our minds.

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Here are three easy exercises to do at work,
when it all becomes a little too much.

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Sit on a chair. Breathe in and out, counting to six. Breath in from your nose and out through your mouth. Focus on your breath; the sound and feeling of air as it moves up your nose and into your lungs, as well as the rise and fall of your chest. Allow your thoughts to fade as you listen only to your body.

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Sit somewhere quiet and think of the things that have happened in your day for which you are grateful. Maybe the cup of tea drank this morning, the taste, and the sensation? Or you could look out your window at the view, the distant fields, or the design of the buildings. We all have different tastes, but you can probably find a small aspect to enjoy. Consider the smallest detail and how it was formed by nature or man.

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This is something we’ve all done. Do you love music? Do you love the spoken word? Find a tune or story and listen to it intently, as you have never done before. Think about the sounds as they become louder and softer. Consider the different voices, instruments, or people. Become immersed, hearing each aspect consciously without judgement.

3. Podcasts to begin – or close - your day

As you transition back to a working environment, you may find you miss the silence or noise of you home. We know you were inundated with recommendations a few weeks ago. But perhaps it’s time to look at that list again.

From informative shows that keep you up-to-date on news to uplifting comedy here are five of our favourite podcasts that will start (or close your day) on the right note.

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Adult



Coronavirus: Fact vs Fiction with Dr Sanjay Gupta

Helmed by CNN’s chief medical correspondent, Dr Gupta speaks to medical providers, listeners, and fellow correspondents about the hard facts that we are all facing, as well as the impact on our lives – all but in an extremely digestible way. Bite-sized and genuine nuggets information which makes it an easy listen when you’re brewing your morning tea or coffee.

06


Home Cooking

Chef Samin Nosrat and co-host Hrishikesh Hirway field questions about what to cook with your pantry finds. Listeners all over the world share interesting quarantine stories so you know you’re not entirely alone in this journey.

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The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

Fronted by Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning Trevor Noah, this podcast series tackles the biggest stories in news, politics, pop culture and of course developments around the pandemic albeit with a wicked twist.

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BBC Radio 4 Quiz

The BBC’s perennial and super-polite quiz shows – including the Round Britain Quiz, Counterpoint, Brain of Britain, and My Generation - for all the family.

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Jimmy Kimmel Life

Jimmy Kimmel Live!” features a diverse line-up of guests that includes celebrities, athletes, musical acts, comedians and human-interest subjects, along with comedy bits and a house band

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The School of Greatness

Author and former pro athlete Lewis Howes hosts this podcast meant to inspire, uplift, and help you reach greatness in many aspects of your life.

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The Brendon Show

Brendon Burchard is the author, motivational speaker, and personal-development coach behind The Brendon Show. The podcast is ad-free and offers advice on how to excel in all areas of your life.

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Kids and Teens

Dr. Sanjay Gupta also partners with Sesame Street to explain the ABC's of coronavirus in a town hall for parents and kids. You can watch all five episodes here.



Curious With Josh Peck

Josh Peck, the one-time star of Drake & Josh, delves into topics that are of interest to him. He also interviews guest stars, including YouTuber Jason Nash and Parks & Rec star Nick Swardson.

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MentalMusic

This is a podcast made for and by teens, focusing on mental health. Episodes focus on topics like insomnia, how sound affects everyday.

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Science Friday

Regularly one of the most popular science podcasts out there, "SciFri" (as it's known to its fans) has been informing and entertaining listeners for more than 20 years. For curious science lovers who want to learn about the latest discoveries, Ira Flatow's weekly discussions with experts and listeners are a must-listen.

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Dear Hank and John

Real brothers and vloggers John Green (a young adult novelist) and Hank Green (a YouTuber) co-host a light-hearted advice podcast where they answer questions on everything from random thoughts to deep, emotional topics. The advice they give out is mostly good and always entertaining. Their easy camaraderie and self-deprecating charm make you feel like you're in on their inside jokes (of which there are many).

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Radiolab

This Peabody award-winning radio series/podcast delivers scientific ideas in a creative, innovative way. The episodes are a joy to listen to, with a great deal of emphasis put on sound design in addition to the hosts' clever banter. Some episodes feature strong language, but overall this is a great choice for mature listeners.

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Stuff You Missed in History Class

Little-known history comes alive three times a week in this fascinating, comprehensive podcast from the people at HowStuffWorks. You don't need to be a history buff to get hooked, but if you're not, you might become one after a few episodes. With a focus on weird events, overlooked stories, and underrepresented groups, this popular series is educational, too.

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