Post-Holiday Depression: Getting Back into Your Schedule

Whether you had a joyous holiday season or a stressful one, chances are, you’re feeling a bit blue. It’s hard to get back into the swing of things at work after a break. It’s even more difficult if you took a little more vacation time than everyone else. Projects and meetings continued in your absence, so you may feel out of the loop.

But before discussing how to overcome the stress and blues, it’s important to identify why we feel this way. This is especially important for those who didn’t have happy holidays.

Foremost, the stark change between the holidays and reality is enough in itself to cause psychological discomfort. Even if you were let down during the holidays in some way, the perception of the holiday season being superior to the normalcy of work can cause cognitive bias. Simply put: if you think work will suck compared to the holidays, it will.

Secondly, though you would think surviving a toxic holiday season would elate one’s mood at work, it doesn’t. People dwell on the toxicity because ultimately, there was that little bit of hope that family would exceed low expectations.

While there isn’t a surefire way to make you feel better about going back to work, you can make the transition easier.

Here are a few tips we picked up from around the web:

  1. Find your circadian rhythm again.

Ensuring that your rested and refreshed for work is crucial – especially after a long break. To get back into a healthy sleep pattern, be sure to:

  • Not consume caffeine in the late afternoon or evenings
  • Soak up as much light as possible, especially in the mornings
  • Try to get in a workout, preferably in the morning
  • Fall asleep when you’re tired, even if you think it’s too late or early
  1. Get the important stuff done first.

Don’t waste your time by taking care of projects and emails chronologically. By completing the most important tasks first, chances are, you’re making it easier on yourself. You can make this prioritization more efficient by reviewing your calendar and making an actual list of tasks you must complete before jumping right into them as well.

  1. Try not to schedule important meetings or project deadlines right after you get back.

In addition to prioritization, make sure to block off time to get yourself together. If you have time, there’s no need to go into a project or meeting unprepared. Instead, take a day (at least) to get everything you need in order.

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