If you had to battle back to work blues because you’ve returned to work today, you are not alone. It’s almost an expected after effect of any great holiday or long weekend. The situation is made worse when it’s a collective break and everyone has been off for some time. So every other conversation you engage in might be a complaint about why people loathe being back to work or sympathetic agreement on how the break wasn’t long enough. This is unlikely going to help you be more productive and get back into the swing of things.
Here’s what you can do to beat the back to work blues.
1. Don’t make any major decisions this week
If you’re feeling this way then you are probably not going to be in the best emotional state. Your judgment will be clouded and there are certain big decisions that you should just put off until you are in better mood. This doesn’t mean that you can’t think about them. It’s probably a good time to just make a note of any work or life choices that you might still be questioning. Things like the length of your commute and whether your job and career choice are still worth it might make it onto your list. Write down exactly how the different situations are making you feel so you can come back and decide what to do next or if you still feel that way. Postponing the decision will prevent you from being hasty and making decisions you will regret.
2. Plan something you will look forward to
Making advance plans for something to look forward to later in the week will help you feel better and lift your mood and outlook. It doesn’t have to be anything big. Avoid making any huge impulse purchases especially if your finances are not in order. People rack up a lot of debt trying to make themselves feel better in the short-term by buying things they don’t need. Meet up with friends for a coffee, walk or to go to the cinema. You can even catch up at each other’s places and cook together. It doesn’t have to involve parting with a lot of extra money.
3. Don’t wait for the motivation to come
One of my favourite speakers is Mel Robinson. Each time I think about motivation she comes to mind and I just hear her saying “Motivation is garbage”. Sometimes the motivation to get on with something will not come, however you need to be prepared to just get on with it. Be disciplined and get things that need to be done without overthinking and ruminating about how you would rather be anywhere else but work. Give yourself some perspective by being grateful that you have a job to return to and are healthy enough to come and do it. Once you start on a task and reduce your distractions you will soon get into flow and increase your ability to complete your work.
4. Hang around positive people
As I mentioned early on the downside of a collective work break is that when everyone returns they are pretty much in the same headspace of not being too pleased to be back. Be deliberate about your conversation and how long you allow the negative sentiment to continue. Be polite and move on if the people you are talking to are intent on continuing to complain. Do your best to steer the conversation positively but be aware of how draining that might leave you and not help with your blues. The best solution is to spend more time with positive individuals and soak in their view and perspective of why being back at work is not all bad.
5. Review your list of achievements
In the same spirit of trying to stay positive review your list of accomplishments. This will cheer you up seeing how much you have achieved and how far you’ve come. If you don’t already have this list take a few minutes to remember and write down things you are really proud of achieving. Make a new list of things that you would like to accomplish in the coming weeks. Thinking positively will help you change everything from your verbal language to your body language and help make your blues short-lived.
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