There’s no denying it that returning to your normal life after festivities is no fun. You’ve been spending time with family and friends, eating good food, and unwrapping presents. With the cold days approaching and the holiday lights all gone and packed, it can be tempting to get under the sheets and pretend it’s Diwali all over again. “The abrupt withdrawal of stress hormones after the holidays can have a profound impact on our biological and psychological well-being...making the return to the mundane seem disproportionately more anxiety-inducing and depressing than it actually is.” says Princeton, NJ-based clinical psychologist Dr. Eileen Kennedy-Moore.
While you still may not be full of enthusiasm to stare at your laptop screen, figuring out how to refocus on work after the festivals and fight the post holiday blues doesn’t have to be that hard. Instead of dreading it, build your enthusiasm and positivity with these helpful tips (and some feel-good outfits). You’ll find yourself up and about in no time!
Get your confidence back
When you return from your time off, your confidence is shaken and you question your abilities. But there’s an easy way to get your confidence back, “I’ve found that the best way to come back to work after the holidays is to jump right into a project or task that excites me the most. This way, I am able to carry extra energy into the whirlwind of things, and tackle even those not-so-exciting tasks that seem harder to accomplish after a holiday break,” says Francesco Onorato, business development. You can also remind yourself of your past accomplishments. By doing that, you are reminding yourself of your capabilities and it’s much easier to shake that feeling of inadequacy and get back in the groove.
Set your intention in the morning
Before you dive back into your work, it's good to organise your thoughts in the morning. Think about what you hope to achieve in the coming month, reflect on your priorities and write them down. Make sure that the goals that you set for yourself are realistic and small for the first few weeks, it could be anything from eating healthy to reading before bed. This will help you build momentum and remain focussed. “To get back into work mode after some time off, I make sure I have a few hours in the morning to organize my thoughts. I set up my office space, put ice in my ice bucket, get a pitcher of water, clean off my desk, prepare a healthy snack. Doing this little bit of morning reflection helps me to feel centered as I dive back in,” says Jen Berry, chief experience officer.
Ease back in
You might be doing your job for years, but jumping back into your routine takes time. You can’t expect yourself to do a perfect job on your first day back in. Give yourself some time and space. Simply put, be kind to yourself otherwise you will end up getting frustrated and unfocussed. “I’ve had to learn to be more self-compassionate by better controlling the messages I tell myself... If the words are too harsh for them, I tell myself that they are too harsh for me. Then, I try to replace what I’m saying with a more supportive message — one that I would tell a friend.” says Loren Margolis, executive leadership coach.
Reconnect with your colleagues
When you are facing deadlines right at the beginning of the month, look to your teammates for some motivation and support. “To regain my stride on a week back from vacation, I like to check in with various teammates to reconnect and get my relationships back in sync. The less I connect with others on my return, the less I’m able to focus on my work. My colleagues jump start my thoughts and energy. We remind each other of specifics and due dates of projects, confirm where we can leverage each other’s efforts, and even set virtual lunch dates. It helps me get back into gear.” says Molly Miller, freelance writer and editor. It might be possible that none of you are feeling mentally back, so open up to each other and help each other to get things done!
Keep yourself at the centre
When you have no other option but to jump right back in, you can take a few minutes from your day to focus on yourself. This doesn't necessarily mean meditating, it could simply be small breathing breaks in between work. When I start my workday, I commit to two solid hours of focus, and then take a short break. After my break, I commit to another hour of work, and then break again for lunch or a walk. I have found that by scheduling breaks into the day, I’m able to be productive without feeling overwhelmed,” says Nicki Anderson, director of women’s leadership program at Benedictine University.
This will help you reconnect with yourself and make the task that is right in front of you, more manageable. Forgive yourself for not being your best self for a few days and just try to do your very best. Eating some leftover mithais after lunch can work too.