Holidays are the days where you unwind, de-stress and pay attention to other aspects in your life. But now that it’s over, it’s time to get back to reality. Ugh, the horror! It sounds easy but if returning to work makes you feel like you need another vacation, you may have a problem on your hands.
Good thing is that you’re not alone in this. Most of us generally dislike going back to work after a holiday. Rest assured that it’ll take some time to settle back into the “work” mentality. If you’re caught in this post-new year office blues, then we’ve got some tips to ease your transition back to work.
Get organized as soon as you enter the office. That might entail organizing your thoughts or physical state of being. Make your desk a pleasant, tidy, and visually pleasing area to spend a few hours each day by cleaning up papers that may be lying around; organize your sticky notes, and doing whatever else you can to make it that way. Open any mail you received while you were away, throw out any junk mail, and file any required mail.
Plan your first day and the week
It’s a good idea to review your schedule before your holidays and make a plan on how you’ll settle back at work. But in case you didn’t do that, that’s fine. You can still map out how you first day might go. Make a list of everything you need to do, make notes about upcoming meetings or deadlines, and get any documents ready. This will give you a sense of control and will prepare you for the coming weeks and months. Take a quick look at your calendar the day before you return to work to avoid getting overwhelmed.
Start your day earlier or slowly
You can do it both ways. If you’re someone who gets anxious especially after taking a very long break, then starting your day earlier is a good option. Leaving home sooner will help you avoid the stress while commuting. If you drive to work, you might beat the traffic, which is even more pleasant when you’re suffering from post-holiday blues. You might get some peace and quiet in the office as a result. Being confronted with duties or inquiries as soon as you enter the room might be too much. You can enjoy a cup of coffee, organize your desk, and get things in order if you arrive early.
But if you’re feeling too blue on the first day, you can always take it slow. If you start working and checking email at precisely 9am, you’ll likely feel overwhelmed after an hour. Instead, take it easy for the first few hours on your first day back. You can even schedule a 10-minute break in between work to rest your eyes and stretch your muscles.
Catch up on the latest updates
Being away for a while means you probably missed out on things at work. It’s a good idea to speak with your coworkers, your boss, and your clients in order to catch up before plunging into all of your emails and the projects that are sitting on your desk. Try to acquire a general idea of what happened while you were MIA. When you start to delve back in a little more, it will be easier to prioritize your to-do list if you have a general notion of where projects or obligations stand at the present. You can do it as soon as you’ve entered the office or do it over lunch break.
Tackle task by importance
The moment you step back into the office, it’s likely your mind will start going through your checklist. We totally get you. To keep you on your feet, why not tackle your task by it’s importance? That way, you won’t feel overpressure. Completing one simple (but still important) activity from your to-do list will help you get going. Nothing is more energizing than crossing something off your list.
Grab a longer lunch break
Lunch breaks are not intended for eating only. On your first week, it’s normal to feel unmotivated, but know that it’s okay and that you can always find something to keep you going. If you have time for a lengthy lunch break, consider visiting a neighboring mall or checking out a bookstore, or taking a power nap. It’s crucial to go slowly since this is simply the first week back at work. Additionally, you’re welcome to take a little coffee break in between working hours.
Bring a piece of vacation to work
If you have any souvenirs from your trip, wear or bring them to work. Consider wearing a new necklace you recently purchased with a work outfit so that you may glance at it throughout the day and be reminded of your vacation. It can also act as a discussion starter with coworkers about your time away. You’ll be able to transfer the wonderful energy from your vacation to your office by doing this.
Bonus: Take it easy
Whatever you do, be kind to yourself. You’ll probably have a lot on your plate, which is why many of us never go on long vacations in the first place. Recognize your burden and take each day as it comes. Keep your chin up, remember to breathe, and engage in self-care activities. Happy Working Y’all!