Beating the back-to-work blues
After relaxing with your nearest and dearest over Christmas, you’d be forgiven for feeling more than a little underwhelmed about returning to work. They call it the ‘back-to-work blues’, and it can make heading back to the office a nightmare. However, you don’t need to spend your first week back wilting at your desk: here are some simple ways to try beating the back-to-work blues.
By doing as much as you can the night before you’re due back at work, you could limit the amount of stress you feel as you get ready the next day. This could mean preparing your lunch, packing your bag and laying out your clothes – whatever you need to do to save time in the morning.
Regain your routine
Christmas often means late nights and late rises, leaving many of us fatally unprepared for a blaring alarm come New Year. When you have time off, it can be a good idea to ease yourself back into the weekday routine by going to bed earlier and setting alarms for the morning in the week leading up the return to work. Nothing silly: 9am may do nicely. After all, snoozing your alarm can be awful for your brain.
Start with admin
Putting pressure on yourself by heading straight to your task list could make the back-to-work blues even worse. Rather than throwing yourself into the deep end, why not try starting your working day with simple admin tasks? You could see to your emails, organise your diary and write a to-do list, paving the way for a week free of surprises.
Revamp your desk
A tidy, inviting desk can make us more inclined to spend time there, and motivate us for the day ahead. Why not bring in some of your Christmas presents to brighten things up? New mugs you don’t have space for at home make great desk tidies, while work colleagues may appreciate you sharing your sweet treats!
Book some holidays
If you have a holiday in mind, why not book it off? Having something to look forward to can really lift your mood, not to mention give you a sense of perspective on your return.
Set professional goals
Setting professional goals at the start of the year could reinvigorate your zest for work. Whether you need to say “no” more, take charge of your workload or earn more professional responsibility, why not plan how you’d like to achieve your goals, and set the wheels in motion?
Improve your desk diet
While there’s no harm in bringing in festive treats to share with colleagues, the dreaded return to work can be a great time to revamp your desk diet. Stocking up on processed sugars may give us a brief boost, but it can cause a harsh afternoon crash, affecting our mood and concentration. Starting as you mean to go on (with healthy lunches and snacks such as nuts and blueberries), could make your first week back a whole lot more pleasant.
Having fun at work can do wonders for your mood: even more essential when you’re returning after a relaxing Christmas. Rather than burying yourself under deadlines and paperwork, why not make socialising with colleagues a key part of your day? You could chat about your time off, create a mood-boosting Spotify playlist with recommendations from the whole team, and go out for lunch rather than dine at your desks. Work comes first, but there’s no harm in having a good time while you do it.
Have you tried any of these techniques for beating the back-to-work blues? Maybe you have some coping mechanisms of your own? Let us know.
This article was first published on 5th January 2016.
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