5 ways to help plan members hit the reset button

July 4, 2022

 

Maarika Arget is a Senior Consultant at Manulife focused on workplace well-being.

After 2+ years, many organizations are now heading back to the office. And for some of your plan members, this could be a tough transition and it might be weeks or even months before they feel comfortable with the change. People may be anxious about health risks, concerned about new childcare needs, or frustrated by having to commute after working from home for so long.

In my work with plan sponsors, I focus on how we can help members manage changes like these and find healthy balance. My best advice for plan members is to hit the reset button and find ways to see going back to the office as a chance to start fresh and reset boundaries, goals, and priorities. Here are my top 5 tips you can share with your plan members to help them reset:
 

  1. Flip the narrative to find the positive: You know the downsides that a change can bring, but you can choose to focus on what’s positive about it. For example, could that hour long commute give you time to learn a new language or catch up with family and friends? Could you make it an “active commute” and walk or bike to work? Or consider parking further away or getting off the bus a stop early to get in a few more steps.
     
  2. Focus on a healthier you: Prioritizing your health can happen in small, easy steps. Have a walking meeting or head out for a lunchtime walk with a friend. Take a few minutes to refresh on the resources you have at your fingertips: mental health benefits, wellness clinics, fitness facilities; get to know the resources that can help you reset. 

    Not sure where to start? Read this short article on how to make small, healthy changes over time and how to get a free personalized action plan with Vitality Health Review.
     
  3. Stop the leaks: When you regularly worked from home, did your workday leak into your personal time? Find yourself checking emails every time you heard a notification? Break these habits by setting a time you leave the office and stick to it. Then enjoy well-deserved time off and turn off work notifications – those emails can probably wait until tomorrow.
     
  4. Give yourself breaks and some grace: We all know how vacation can be the refresh we need. But remember that even short breaks in your workday can act as mini resets. It’s about carving out, and even scheduling, short breaks to do something for yourself. Take a few minutes to read, meditate, or whatever refreshes you.

    Be patient with yourself and remember you’ve been through a lot over the last couple of years. Many of us are simply at capacity and need help. Is there something you could offload from your to-do list or outsource? It could be as simple as buying pre-chopped veggies to save a few minutes after work. Or investing a couple of hours on the weekend to meal prep and reduce workweek stress.
     
  5. Be kind to yourself: It’s tempting to make “reset resolutions” and promise you’ll hit the gym 5 times a week. Instead of big hard-to-attain goals that can make you feel worse if you fail, set some light goals and check in to assess how you’re doing. Remember that you’re still managing a lot of change and that small wins add up over time.

Looking for support with your well-being strategy or programming? Reach out to your Manulife representative to get started.

Watch for the next article in Maarika’s reset series: advice for managers.

Related links