1. Meet with your employer and agree the terms of your return in advance. Make sure you are happy with these – remember the first few months are likely to be tough as you adjust to the new schedule. If you are unsure of your rights, acas offer free and impartial advice http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1410
2. Prepare as much as you can on a Sunday evening, for example do any ironing and prepare outfits, pre-prepare some meals for the week. This will make sure you have some time to relax and recharge in the evenings.
3. Be prepared to say “No”. It is a hard thing to do but over-promising is not good for you or your employer. You should be kind but firm. You don’t need to give a long winded explanation. However, remember to evaluate the request, don’t just give a knee-jerk reaction – if it is an interesting project you may want to say “I don’t have the bandwidth right now but….I would like to do this project and if I eg. had a longer timescale / if I had these two daily tasks removed…..then I think I could fit it in”
4. Smile and be confident: you will feel nervous, everyone does. However, smiling will make you feel more positive.
5. Communicate: set up regular meetings with your line manager. They cannot help you with any issues if they don’t know about them