David Price, CEO and workplace wellbeing at Health Assured shares useful tips to tackle back to work blues
Christmas is over. The New Year is in full flow. We’ve all enjoyed our holiday, but now it’s time to knuckle down and get back to the grind.
The thought of being back to work for eight hours a day, after time off, can bring many people down. January is often deemed as one of the most depressing working months of the year, even if you love your job, so a certain post-holiday blues is common – and this particularly Monday has earned the name ‘Blue Monday’ because it’s when the blues are allegorically said to hit us hardest.
There are ways to get through these blues, though. With a little bit of planning and self-care, you’ll be back to your usual self in no time.
Make time for yourself.
While it’s tempting to throw yourself back into the usual routine with enthusiasm, it’s a better idea to ease yourself in slowly. Get your tasks done, but make sure you’re allowing yourself time for you.
Take your lunch breaks properly. Get away from the desk, go for a walk, find somewhere quiet and calm down a little. At home, do something you enjoy, don’t spend the evening thinking about tomorrow’s tasks. Use the time to readjust.
Declutter your inbox and your desk
You probably have a ton of emails waiting for you, as well as a load of scraps of paper and notebooks full of notes from last year. You very likely don’t need most of those notes, and a lot of those emails, if you look at them, are probably unimportant.
Book out an afternoon to sort these things out. Once you’ve cleared out your inbox, and thrown out the dead weight of notes you’ll never need again. You’ll find that it’s a lot easier to concentrate on the things that do require your attention.
Eat well and get organised
More than just a new year’s resolution, this should be a constant habit. A good breakfast, snacks that release energy slowly, lots of fresh food and water are ideal for perking up your concentration and getting January out of the way.
Make sure you plan your days out, you don’t need to micromanage your schedule, but a list of goals, deadlines and priorities should be the first and last thing you work on, at the beginning and end of the week. Plan what you need to do, work out when it needs to be done by, and reward yourself a little for each of those you tick off on Friday afternoon.
Your colleagues are probably suffering from the January blues too, so help each other get through this month with kind words and encouragement. If you have an employee assistance programme (EAP), this is perfect for helping out if you have some more severe issues—give them a call, and get compassionate help with whatever you’re facing.