The holidays have ended, and it’s back to work again. But if you’re still on vacation mode and dragging your feet to work (or your upcoming Zoom meeting), don’t worry — your feelings are valid.
Some psychologists share that people can experience post-holiday blues after enjoying an extended vacation. But why’s that?
Consider how you’ll need to update your colleagues about projects or deadlines when you get back. You’ll need to reacclimate as you slip back into your work routine, which could entail changing your sleeping patterns and state of mind. If you’ve overindulged in food and alcohol during the holidays, you might be feeling somewhat sluggish, making it even tougher to get out of vacation mode.
But even though the end of the holidays and reminiscing your last virtual Christmas party leaves you feeling sad, overcoming post-holiday blues is possible.
Here’s how you can go back to work after a well-deserved vacation.
Take Extra Time Off Work
Easing yourself back into work takes time. Give yourself an extra day or two before returning to work to relax. Use the time to do chores, run errands, and unwind.
Come Up With a Game Plan
Before returning to your hybrid or remote office, plan your day. Create a game plan on your last buffer day or your first day back at work, and you can start by catching up with everything you’ve missed. Here’s what we mean:
- Check your inbox. Reach out to your teammates and direct supervisor to know which tasks or projects to prioritize.
- Connect with clients. Talk to your clients and let them know that you’re ready to address their needs.
List all your to-do’s, set priorities, and delegate tasks to other team members so you can focus on high-level projects. This way, you stay on top of things without feeling overwhelmed.
Maintain a Positive Mindset
Shifting into a positive mindset doesn’t happen instantly, so you’ll need to practice maintaining a positive attitude during the days leading up to your return.
Keep negative thoughts out and recall what you enjoy the most about your work. They can be projects you enjoy, your co-workers, or team-building activities. Focus on the positives to help you look forward to returning to work.
Start Work Early
An early start can also help you ease back into work. Sleep early the night before so you can clock in earlier than usual. Getting a head start will get you in the right mindset to work.
Keep Your Workspace Organized & Comfortable
Less clutter, less stress. Maintain a clean, organized workspace so you can become more productive!
Before you dive into your to-do’s, clean and re-organize your desk. Pick up scattered papers and store them in a cabinet or file holder that’s within reach. Create sticky notes to remind yourself of pending tasks, but make sure you properly tidy up any papers scattered around.
A tidy workspace should also be comfortable. For example, you can make a DIY wrist cushion or purchase a new ergonomic chair. Feel to personalize your workstation with a photo, plant, action figure, or other treasured mementos.
Prepare yourself: when you return to work, you’ll be faced with distractions. For example, your co-workers could ask you day after day just how your vacation went. To top that off, the endless barrage of social media updates could make FOMO hit hard. Stay off your phone, and don’t let these distractions throw you off track!
Refrain from showing off your vacation photos — it’ll just distract you and make you miss being on vacation even more.
Take Small Breaks
Working too hard can lead to burnout. Just because you went on vacation doesn’t mean you need to guilt-trip yourself and take zero breaks. Remember that your colleagues are still recovering from vacation mode so take it easy.
Set a five or ten-minute break every three hours as you ease back into work. Taking micro-breaks will help you relax and focus on one thing at a time.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
It doesn’t matter how busy you are — don’t skip meals! It’s hard to focus on an empty stomach. Food provides your brain with energy so it can help you concentrate. Stay healthy and make sure you’re snacking on nutritious goodies like almonds, protein bars, and fruits.
Avoid energy spikes and slumps by taking small, frequent snacks rather than huge meals. When you get hungry in between, you can eat healthy foods like blueberries and whole grains.
Just like food, water also helps your brain function properly. After all, our brains are made up of 75% water.
Less water intake could result in a loss of body mass. In fact, research from 2018 reports how just a 0.6% loss in body mass can decrease blood flow to the brain. When that happens, it could affect mood, cognition, and heart rate. So stay productive and drink plenty of fluids!
For good measure, aim to drink at least two glasses of water every hour if you have a desk-based job. Bring it up to at least three glasses if you move around or travel.
Ease Yourself Back Into Work After the Holidays
Holidays and vacations offer a temporary sweet escape from reality. But once these celebrations and trips come to an end, it’s natural for the post-holiday blues to kick in. So plan, stay focused, and get enough rest — they can go a long way in helping you beat the blues and slip back into work mode.
Make mental health a priority at your organization and help your workforce manage post-holiday stress and negative emotions. Our Sprout Wellness tool is a holistic HR solution that can help inform your company’s wellness program. It covers yoga, meditation, online counselling, mental health policies, psychometrics, and more.
Do you want to learn more about our services? Book your consultation here!