How To Beat the Back to Work Blues

Written by: The Yass Phoenix


After the Christmas and New Year break many adults in our community are singing a familiar tune, namely “I Owe, I Owe, It’s Back to Work I Go”.

Holidays give us all a well-needed time to relax and start contemplating what life would look life if we won the lottery or were suddenly able to retire from paid work. Recommencing work means having to consider childcare, packed lunches, ironed clothes, parking woes, and office niceties.

The feeling of gloom can also be complicated by the financial hangover from Christmas and holiday spending, the discomfort of the kilos gained from all that over-indulgence, and the nagging knowledge that all those pesky New Year’s resolutions you made haven’t quite been realised.

Of course, for some people, Christmas and New Year may not have offered the happy family time and R&R desired. The financial and emotional pressures on families and relationships around this time of year are immense. It is a time of increased domestic violence, relationship break-ups and emotional meltdowns. For some, a return to work is a relief. Others may have worked through the festive season or not have had much of break at all. It is by no means a Happy New Year for all. So, here are our five tried-and-true tips to help you cope with the back to work blues:

1. Come home on time: Over the first few days make it a policy to work regulation hours and finish up the day on time. Don’t fall into the trap of seeking to get on top of everything all at once. Pace yourself.

2. Ease yourself in: spent your first couple of days at work organising yourself for the rest of the year. This might involve diarising meetings, updating your signature block, organising a better system to manage workflow, etc.

3. Connect with your colleagues: One of the best things about returning to the office is catching up with your work friends and sharing all the details of your holiday. Having support from workmates makes the transition back to work easier.

4. Treat yourself: One of the best ways to beat the back-to-work blues is to give yourself some small things to look forward to throughout the week of your return. Book a massage or get your nails done. Go for a swim in the cool of the evening.

5. Plan your next holiday: One way to beat the blues is to try and ensure that there’s consistently something on the horizon that you’re anticipating. With that in mind, don’t be afraid to start planning your next trip as soon as you get back from your holidays.

It’s also important to note that a constant feeling of negativity associated with work could speak to an underlying issue. There is a difference between back-to-work blues and job dissatisfaction. If you find you are experiencing a low mood most of the day, nearly every day, or you are not enjoying the things you used to enjoy, speaking to a GP about how you are feeling is a great first step. Anxiety and depression are a very real and common and support is out there to help you.

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