Whether youíve just returned from holidays or are counting down the few remaining minutes of weekend freedom, if youíre feeling a bit blue about heading back to work, donít worry ó youíre not alone. Re-entering reality can be depressing, and itís a phenomenon that psychologists are quite familiar with.
However, getting back to your daily grind doesnít have to be depressing, not if you follow AMís healthy tips on how to beat those pesky back-to-work blues.
Plan Your Next Vacation
Many of us experience a high on vacation. Whether itís from all the adventure or the relaxation, vacations often bring sensations that our daily jobs do not. The best way to overcome those feelings of loss when you're trying to beat the back to work blues is to get right back to planning another vacation. Even if youíre just considering a short weekend getaway, you need something to look forward to. And donít approach your planning in a half-ass way either. Real vacation planning can be stressful enough on its own. By beginning the process early and by doing it right, youíll satiate that vacation hunger and save yourself from some stress in the future.
Beat the blues tip: Decorate your workspace with vacation memorabilia to keep your spirits high. Try a nice digital photo frame, a meaningful keepsake, a fun screen saver, or whatever else you need to give you a nice momentís reflection.
Nothing is quite as depressing as coming back to work on Monday only to find yourself sitting behind a messy desk, with piles of untouched work stacked miles high. To help beat those back-to-work blues, be sure to get organized. This means getting ahead of your work before you leave the office. If, however, itís already too late, start by tidying your workspace the second you get back. Create a to-do list ranked by priority and, hopefully, with some prospective planning, youíll have ensured that you have no major deadlines or meetings to look after once you get back. If it helps, have a coworker fill you in on what youíve missed.
Beat the blues tip: Try to get a good nightís sleep the night before your return.
Beat the blues tip: Donít forget your mental health either. If you get a chance, schedule some social physical activity to begin upon your return. Try meditation, ballroom dancing, group cycling, or indoor rock climbing.
Start a Project
Remember that secret pet project that you swore youíd start the second you had some time off? You do? Good. Well, do you remember how you never actually started it once you had that time off? Classic. As human beings, and males at that, we often comfort ourselves by listing all the things weíd achieve if only we had the time. If youíre feeling down at work, why not invigorate yourself with the prospects of a new pet project?
But this time, get real. Accept the fact that any project you attempt will require your spare time and full attention. Once you do, you might just be motivated enough to get things done.
Beat the blues tip: A pet project doesnít have to be some grand invention. It could be as simple as learning a new skill, like woodworking or cooking or taking up a hobby like sculpting or skeet shooting ó anything to give your life some spice.
Wave Work Woes Goodbye
If getting back to work has truly got you down, the worst thing you can do is drag your feet like a child and refuse to accept reality. If youíre like most of the working class, itís likely that you depend on your career. If youíre truly feeling blue, itís vital that you donít procrastinate. The more you let your work pile up, the more difficult you make things for yourself down the road. Weekends and vacations are meant to serve as an escape, nothing more. If the idea of returning to work has got you so down that procrastination is all that keeps you sane, then itís time to seriously consider a change of career. After all, sometimes itís the job itself thatís giving you those back-to-work blues ó and thatís no easy fix.
Focus on Your Health
If youíre anything like most men, chances are that you let yourself go a bit on your time off. Maybe it was the alcohol, the buffet dinners, the cigars, or the general lack of activity thatís set you back; whatever the reason, time off often translates into a hangover of sorts. In this case, beat those back-to-work blues by focusing on your health. Begin by fortifying your diet early with a nice serving of fresh fruit, whole grains and lots of water. A nice fruit smoothie could do wonders to kick-start your day.
Try to eat light and often throughout the first days of your return. You can also complement your diet by fortifying your physique with some trips to the gym. If you gave your body a break on your time off, start with light-weight resistance or easy aerobic exercises to get your body back on track.
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