The “back-to-work blues” don’t qualify as a formal syndrome but are a commonplace with workplace stress a significant source of anxiety and depression in the lives of all.
“A senior lecturer at Macquarie University, Barbara Griffin, said research indicated the blues were linked to sadness that pleasurable activities were over, and changes in food, alcohol and sleeping patterns during holidays.” “In the short-term, the effect of holidays does tend to wear off after three weeks to a month,” she said. “The fade-out effects are quicker if we face a lot of work when we get back”.
If you happen to feel depressed on returning to work it is not a synonym for being in the wrong job but that could be only related to personality types and holiday experiences.
It is true that even you plan to go back to your desk restocked with boundless energy and creativity ready to become more and more productive we often end up with a ton of piled up work and emails.
Here are some suggestions to avoid the Back to work Blues:
1- Plan for your return: when the holidays are at the door you should prepare work and your personal life to go and forget your routine so you can enjoy the time off without any restraints. You can do the same when coming back. If you arrive a day before work you can setup your life for the new routine by unpacking, picking up the supermarket essentials and if you have the focus, get an uninterrupted jump start on the pile of emails that popped up.
2- Don’t dive into meetings as soon as you arrive. Give yourself some time to catch-up on what has been going on and go better prepared for the meetings. This will reduce stress and delay mental fatigue while prolonging the holiday energy rush. So, if possible don’t schedule anything for the first day or at least the first morning.
3- Use the out of office message as your ally. Don’t take it out as soon as you arrive. Your colleagues know you are back and outside parties don’t have high expectation for your reply speed. This will give you the extra room to catch up and get up to the rhythm.
4- Take larger breaks – Ease yourself into the work rhythm so you can delay all the work stress and prolong the holiday effect. Our bodies and mind deal better with slow changes, so if you can have smoother transitions you can reduce stress and mental fatigue in a significant way.
5- You must be Relevant but not indispensable. You should strive to be relevant to your job and in your company but don’t be indispensable. This can create anxiety in you bosses and lead them to study redundancies that can make your job all the less relevant.
So before you go on vacations “Learn to plan ahead, rely on your coworkers, and understand that sometimes, it's inevitable that you'll miss out on that last-minute request, and you'll be that much more productive when you return.”