The end of the year brings much fun and excitement. We get to take time away from work, maybe go on holidays, spend time with loved ones, eat our favourite foods and completely disconnect from our day-to-day routine. It’s a much-needed opportunity to rest, recharge and refresh. Sadly, the holidays always come to an end and, sooner or later, we have to go back to work. Coming back to the office after such a great time away, staring down the barrel of another 12 months of work, can be overwhelming. To help you survive your return to the workplace after an epic festive season, here are 8 easy ways you can beat the back-to-work blues.
1. Start planning your next holiday
This is my personal favourite suggestion on this list! While there’s a good chance you may not financially be ready to start splashing out money on a holiday post-festive season, that doesn’t mean you can’t start planning. Go to your favourite travel agent and get some brochures for inspiration, set the wallpaper on your phone and computer to your next holiday destination and pin a few photos, postcards or holiday inspiration around your desk. Rather than focusing on being back on the office, your focus will shift to your holiday and you’ll know being back in the office means you’re earning the dosh to fund your next adventure!
2. Focus on the positives
The mind is incredibly powerful and, as Spiderman’s Uncle Ben knew, with great power comes great responsibility. So, exercise a little responsibility by paying particular attention to your thoughts during your first few weeks back at work. There’s a good chance you may find yourself looking back at your break, missing those moments and comparing your days now against days then. Those types of thoughts will eat away at you and leave you with a horrid case of the post-holiday blues. Instead, smile at those memories, celebrate them and let your mind take you back to how you felt. Fill yourself up with the love, joy and energy from them and focus on their abundance, not their absence. Joy breeds joy.
3. Be creative
Distract that big ol’ brain of yours with some creative activities. Doing things we love and letting our imaginations run wild is an amazing feeling, one that will energise and replenish. Pull out your paints or pens and get creative with some blank paper. Try your hand at sewing, making jewellery or take on a building project – maybe Fido needs a new kennel or Puss needs a cat tower? Bring bunches of bright, fresh flowers into your home or hang those fairy lights you’ve been meaning to put up. Cook up a feast for your friends or loved ones and test out those new recipes you’ve been dying to try. If you aren’t the creative type, enjoy someone else’s creativity with a trip to your local art gallery, museum or live music venue. Other people’s passion can be just as energising!
4. Do a clean out and get organised
Get your workspace organised with a big cleanout of your desk. Reorganise your files, clear out your email inbox, get your to-do list organised and determine your work priorities. At home, you can do the same. Clear out those old clothes you no longer need, throw away old documents, reorganise your wardrobe, pantry or linen cupboard and get everything clean and clear. Doing this is a great way to clear out mental clutter and can give you a sense of control of your environment. It also clears out the old, allowing plenty of room for all the new to enter your life.
5. Do some planning for the year ahead
Focus your energy on what’s to come, not what has been. Matt and I like to sit down at the start of each year and work out what it is, precisely, we want to achieve this year. It’s not about New Year’s resolutions, it’s about taking the time to look inward and listen to what it is really want to get out of the year. Doing this makes your goals clear and, once you know what you want, you can do whatever needs to be done to make those things happen. Read: How to plan your best year ever!
6. Plan some fun events to look forward to
Pack your calendar with wonderful things to look forward to, they don’t have to be big or expensive, just things you know are coming up on the calendar and can get excited about. Pencil in a coffee catch up with a friend you didn’t get to see before the end of the year, schedule a lunch date with a colleague or plan a date night with your partner. Get your calendar loaded up with fun events you enjoy and they’ll shift your focus completely.
7. Schedule in some physical activities
The temptation to spend your spare time in your pyjamas, on the couch in the grips of a Netflix marathon is all too real. While I’m a huge supporter of a Netflix marathon, I also know how good it feels to get some fresh air, sunshine and make your body move. Go for a walk along the water, take a trip out to the beach for a swim or hike to a great viewpoint for sunset. If you’re low on time, simply sit outside in the fresh air with a cup of tea and a good book. Getting moving can be hard but once you push through and make it happen, you feel so much better.
8. Take it easy
If nothing else, accept the post-holiday/back-to-work blues suck and, thankfully, pretty much everyone feels the same. Ease back into your routine and treat yourself with kindness and care. Get enough sleep, drink plenty of water, try to get some fresh air and sunshine and know it will take you a little while to get back into your routine. Treat yo self!