Sitting at my desk looking out at 26 degrees of sunshine is really quite disheartening, especially when I know there are people enjoying the beach not far away! Just having to put on work clothes after the freedom of shorts and jandals is enough to induce a feeling of general grumpiness. Going back to work after your summer holiday can be tough mentally and many people struggle with motivation, feel disorientated and find it hard to focus. You can only remain in denial for so long before the reality of your inbox sets in. So what can you do get back into the swing of things?
Judi Clements, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation says:
“Having your next holiday or annual leave planned is a good idea and can help to alleviate the stress of being back at work. Quite often it gives people an incentive for being back at work, it helps people to focus, think positively and reduce their current feelings of work pressure.”
Sounds good to me. Having procrastinated some more by Googling ‘Pacific Island Holidays’, now what?
The Mental Health Foundation offers the following tips to reduce back to work blues:
- Create a harmonious work environment – Organise your workspace; have something personal that you like, or photos of friends and family on your desk. Set a favourite picture as your screen saver.
- Think about your personal growth – Do you have any skills that you would like to develop further? Why not enrol in a learning course this year. It doesn’t have to be work related!
- Review your job – Is it still fulfilling your needs and does it still challenge you? Ask your manager for a job review. Speak about your wants and needs for the role. Discuss any areas of work you are finding difficult.
- Take time out – Make sure you have at least 15 minutes a day to yourself. Go for a short walk or read a bit of a good book.
- Get organised – Get up earlier so you don’t have to rush; set aside time for processing email; break large projects into small steps.
- After work activities – It’s summer, enjoy the daylight-filled evenings, arrange sporting or social activities with friends and family so you have something to look forward to after work or at weekends.
- Look after yourself – get more sleep, take part in more physical activity and eat better this year. It will help you to think more clearly and to feel less stressed and more relaxed.