How to Banish Post-Holiday Blues

How to Banish Post-Holiday Blues

The Summer holidays are almost over and the children will soon be back in school, sporting new uniforms and shiny shoes, full of energy and optimism for the new term ahead.  Unfortunately for workers it isn’t quite the same: as the nights start drawing in, the tans fade and post-holiday blues set in, according to up to 80% of workers returning from their Summer holidays were likely to start looking for a new job.

So how can adult workers keep motivated and recreate a positive ‘Back to School’ feeling and banish the post holiday blues?  A number of Coaches recommend taking stock to avoid slipping in to the same routine and old habits by following this simple action plan:

1. Review the year so far and ask yourself:  What has worked well in and outside work in the past six months?  Try to do more of these activities.  Ask:  What didn’t go quite so well and why? If you can, then do less of these activities or take steps to improve the situation.  And what could you have done better and how? Commit to doing things differently for the ‘new term’.

2. Recognise and act to prevent the downward spiral of tiredness > stress > anxiety > unhelpful behaviours, which can be caused by unhealthy patterns such as:

  • staying up late watching TV
  • then not getting enough sleep
  • so being over tired the next day
  • then drinking too much coffee, which triggers the release of adrenaline and the flight or fight response, putting your brain and body into a hyper-aroused state so your emotions overrun your behaviour
  • resulting in you becoming irritable and anxious
  • possibly ending in a disagreement or misunderstanding with your boss/colleague/supplier/partner/random stranger on the bus, train or in a neighbouring car

3. Stop and analyse what you can change to improve your routines, working environment, work life balance and well-being. A simple behaviour change such as getting up 10 minutes earlier can have a dramatic impact.

4. Review your workload and ask yourself: What can I delegate and to whom? Ask yourself: How can I become more efficient?  What do I enjoy most and how can I do more of that type of work?

5. Decide which meetings you can stop attending and get copied in on the minutes instead, or delegate attendance to a colleague.

6. Be ruthless with your emails: try to read them only once, delete those you can, unsubscribe to unnecessary ones, and limit use of the over-used ‘reply all’ button.

7. Incorporate exercise in to your daily routine, even if it only means taking the stairs, getting off one stop earlier, or parking further away from the office.

8. Make sure you take a lunch break and don’t eat your lunch at your desk.

9. Switch off your phone and email for at least ten minutes every day and if possible at least an hour before you go to sleep.

10. Every evening review each day and ask yourself the questions in Point 1 above for the day’s activities. Commit to changing the unhelpful behaviours and habits tomorrow. Don’t give up, just try harder and reward yourself for the positive changes you make.

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