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10 Ways To Beat the Post-Holiday Work Blues

Published on Monday, 02 Mar 2015

So you’ve just returned from a fabulous holiday filled with relaxation, smiles, and a much needed break from the daily grind. Reintegration to the workplace feels like facing ten million Mondays with who-knows how many unanswered emails and piles of backed up office duties. Fear not! Don’t say goodbye to those holiday vibes just yet. Here are ten ways to beat the post-holiday work blues.

1. Go slow. The biggest mistake any returned employee can make after some time off is to start tackling work head on as soon as you walk into the door. It is easy to let stress build up if you begin focussing on all the tasks that have piled up while you were away. Help yourself through this minor transition by heading home a day before you need to return to work in order to acclimate yourself back to the daily grind.

2. Extend your holiday virtually. Another way to ease back into work is by setting your “out of office” reply for a day or two after your return. Doing so will give you valuable time to catch up on some work while enabling you to set your own pace.

3. Reorganise your work space. Professional prioritisers will tell you that the first step in getting the mind ready to work is a clean environment. Take the break as a fresh start to your career. Clean up your desk, declutter your space, maybe even clean up your diet with a sweep through your snack area. Afterward, your work zone will also feel like it is had some rest and relaxation.

4. Share your holiday fun. Help your mental mojo by showcasing your favorite vacation moments with coworkers. Whip out your photos and perhaps bring the office a few souvenirs. Doing so will trigger some good memories and put you in a good mood, as well as brighten up your collegue’s day.

5. Resist temptation to fall into your old routine. Being in a new environment often helps our imagination soar to new levels. Cash in on these creative juices and keep them flowing by physically changing up your time in the office. Set up shop in a new office location and brainstorm how you can do your work differently or more efficiently.

6. Pursue a new hobby or project outside of work. A break can sometimes be a great way to add a little zest to our lives. Keep the momentum going by volunteering, taking a fun class, or choosing a mentor to follow.

7. Don’t be too hard on yourself. After a holiday, it can be easy to slide into a slump. We might feel sorry for ourselves for our selected profession or even beat ourselves up for wishing we were still on vacation. Remind yourself that these feelings are normal, completely healthy, and will pass. Within a few days, you’ll fit into your workspace without an issue.

8. Plan your next trip. Avoid thinking about the mundane repetition of work life. Use leftover energy and good time feelings from your last excursion to focus on a future destination and holiday.

9. Exercise. Stifle the blues by getting physical. Not only can it help to alleviate your bad mood, working out will help keep you sharp at work. Return to tip top shape by performing a calorie burning activity of your choice.

10. Take a step back. Most sour feelings will only linger for a week or so after you return from your vacation. If it doesn’t feel like the clouds are parting, allow yourself to wonder if you are truly fulfilled at your job. Now is the perfect time to adequately measure your happiness.

After a relaxing holiday, it is difficult to erase the routine of office life and culture. Remember that most of your colleagues will probably feel your struggle. Follow these guidelines and you will waving those post-holiday blues goodbye in no time. 

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