Coping with the Post Holiday Blues now you're Back at Work!

Nothing can be more depressing than the bump of the aircraft tyres as they hit the runway back on UK soil. You look out the window and the sky is grey and overcast, the drizzle is evident on the glass as you look out. The sunny holiday you just left is already fading from memory and your mind jumps forward to the mounds of work awaiting you in your office the next day. You already know there are over 1000 emails awaiting replies and all those mundane things that you had postponed ‘until after the holiday’ are looming like the black clouds you see out the window. Welcome to coping with the post holiday blues!

Holiday now seems a long way away!

According to an article on the Mail Online website“Post holiday blues is now a ­recognised ­phenomenon, with as many as 83 per cent of people ­admitting to feeling ­depressed about returning to work from their ­summer break.”

How to cope? Here are 7 ways to beat those post holiday blues (in no particular order):

  • Bring back gifts - bring back a large bag of treats or sweets from your holiday to hand out at work. The act of giving will make you feel good about yourself and it will make you more popular with your colleagues - all round feel good factor! (You can always give a bag of the not-so-nice-ones to the boss and watch their face as they try to eat them).
  • Tackle those emails - as you nervously survey your bulging inbox, relax, take your time and go through the emails, marking only the urgent ones with a red flag. Delete anything that is just spam or gossip. Once this is done you will then see the real scale of the problem and you can tackle it in bite sized pieces.
  • Kill old habits – one of the things that is so sad about coming back to the office is the realisation that you are back in the routine, back in the rut or rat race. The joyful freedom you felt on holiday is gone. Of course you have to resume your job (unless you plan on handing in your notice and running back to Spain to wait tables). But you can control other aspects of dreary routine from your office:  Find someone new to chat to at lunchtime, make yourself an unusual packed lunch, get out of the building and get some fresh air – do something different. These are the things that are within your control and help to blitz those blues.
  • Make the feeling last – remember how relaxed you felt on the holiday? Remember it took a few days to really relax and enjoy the slower pace with no time schedules to adhere to? Well, try to bring a little of the relaxed approach back to the office with you. Try not to let the stress creep back in. If you are inundated with work, just take it a bit at a time and remember you can only do what you can do – getting stressed about what you can’t do or control is a waste of time. Think about the 1980 Cadbury’s Caramel bunny advert (showing my age here) – ‘Take it Easy’: http://youtu.be/EjQ5Yw72xtA
  • Looking Good – Aside from the obvious delight of being the most tanned person in the office, you can keep your healthy feeling going for longer by making healthy choices. Eating stodgy food loaded with fat and sugar will only add to your low mood. Choose fresh fruit and vegetables, drink loads of water and keep the caffeinated drinks to a minimum (although one triple shot espresso is recommended on the morning of your first day back to work).
  • Team building – one of the great thing about holiday is the fun time you can spend with people you know or people you just met. If it is the case that yours is an office full of stressed people running around like headless chickens with no time to chat to each other (I worked in a news room like that). Then consider arranging some sort of social event, where you can meet with your colleagues in a more relaxed environment and actually talk to them as human beings. You could arrange a bowling night or something similar so there is a focus if you are worried none of you will actually have anything to say to each other. This could create a more fun working environment if you all had a good night out in common. (Obviously avoid getting completely drunk and telling someone what you really think of them!).
  • Book another holiday! - okay so this is a cheat one really, as most of us have to wait a whole year until we can get away again. But you can start to plan another holiday so you have something to look forward to. And although all of the above points are valid, really nothing is as good as getting on the plane again with palm trees and cocktails awaiting.

Coping with Post Holiday Blues

Hope this helps! If you have any other tips on coping with or even beating the post holiday blues then please do share with the Zebra below!

Posted by Paul Randall
30th August 2013