Whether you’ve just returned from a break or your week in the sun still lies ahead, the downside for most of us is that we have to come back to reality and return to work. Once we’re back at our desk and opening our inbox, our relaxing break can seem like a distant memory.
But if you feel gloomy on your return to work, know that it’s completely normal, and there are things you can do to help you get back in the swing of things.
Accept it will be difficult
Once you admit to yourself that you feel down in the dumps and that it’s probably going to be tough getting back into your routine, you’ll probably feel better about it than if you try to plaster on a fake smile and a happy demeanour. So feel grumpy for a little bit, just don’t allow yourself to get stuck like that for too long.
Start by figuring out your priorities
Rather than feeling like a headless chicken when you set foot back in the office, spend some time looking at your tasks and deciding what’s important and what’s not. Pace yourself then tackle your most pressing tasks first. Factor in some breaks too, you’re likely to be sluggish and tired from being out of your usual routine when you were away.
Give your inbox a glance
Tackling the email pile-up is nobody’s favourite task, but you don’t have to get overwhelmed trying to deal with everything at once. Have a glance through and choose which messages are a priority to deal with. The rest can be dealt with all in good time.
Have an earlier start
You might cry inside at the thought of setting your alarm earlier, but think about it. Your first day back, you can miss the traffic, get into the office feeling less stressed, make yourself a coffee and ease yourself into the day before the madness begins.
Set yourself a new challenge
If you feel like work was ‘same old, same old’ before your break, why not do something about it? Try finding new ways of working, learn something new, or set yourself a new challenge. You’ll be surprised at how much more positive you can feel about things.
Treat yourself to a nice lunch
Don’t settle for soggy sandwiches on your first day back. Either make a nice salad to eat outside in the sunshine, or go out for lunch with your colleagues and buy yourself a little treat-you deserve it!
Check in with your colleagues
Chat to them about your holidays and ask if you missed anything while you were away. Taking the time to have some light-hearted interactions with your colleagues can really cheer you up on your first day back.