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How to survive the post-holiday blues at work

Going back to work after Christmas hurts even as you say it, right? After the Christmas feast with the late nights out and family gatherings comes the famine, mood-wise. It’s hard for everyone to get back on track after a nice Christmas vacation. For some, it’s even harder. Post-holiday blues is a very real thing, with many people finding their mood plummet after Christmas and struggling to renew their enthusiasm at work

Though it’s nothing to worry about, you don’t want this bittersweet sadness to drag on for long. For all of you experiencing post-Chrismas depression at work, we’ve compiled a mini survival guide to help you get back to work with new energy and in good spirits!

Take it easy

Perhaps the first thing you need to do to tackle post-holiday blues is not to push yourself. Accept the fact that it will be a few days before you can work at full speed and reach your previous productivity levels. It’s perfectly OK and normal. 

Both your brain and body need some time to adjust after a vacation, during which they got used to slower rhythms. Listen to them. Don’t try to make up for the lost time, even if the tasks are piling up. Your brain won’t be able to pick up anyway, and you’ll end up feeling anxious.

What should you do instead? Well, time to put your organizational skills to practice and prioritize your workload. With the exception of this occasion, you don’t want to complete the hard tasks first thing in the morning. Unless you really are a morning type and feel up for it, of course. Instead, it’s best to start with tasks that require minimum brainpower and focus on completing hard or urgent tasks within the first few days.

Refresh your workspace

It sure is depressing returning to work only to find that the Christmas decorations are down and everything is back to “normal” (boring!). It’s even more depressing when you have to take them down yourself.

To make up for this inevitable return to normal that only worsens the work blues after a vacation, refresh your workspace. If anything, it’s a nice way to start the new year with a breath of fresh air in your work environment by bringing a small plant, for example. The new year is also an opportunity to reorganize your stuff and declutter your desk.

Organize an evening out with colleagues

Chances are that your coworkers are experiencing post-holiday blues too. For the sake of keeping the (team) spirits up, why not organize after-work drinks within the first week after you get back to work?

An evening out is a great team bonding activity during which you’ll get a chance to catch up with coworkers in a more relaxed environment and share your Christmas experiences. And you never know — you might get a cool idea for your next Christmas trip or destination!

Looks matter

Or else, don’t go back to work after Christmas in your sweatpants. Because if you don’t have a strict dress code, you might succumb to post-Christmas depression and go to work looking the way you feel — miserable.  

This is a two-way street, though. The way you look affects the way you feel. To avoid making matters worse, put on nice clothes and a warm smile (even if you have to force it a little). You’ll be amazed by how much difference something so trivial and can make to your work blues.

Don’t return on a Monday (especially if you hate Mondays!)

No, really. Monday is pretty dreadful as-is for most people. Coming back from holidays on Monday with a whole week ahead is plain cruel. Getting back to work on a Wednesday, let’s say, will make the transition a lot easier since you’ll face a three-day workweek instead. Not to mention, the upcoming weekend will seem like a brief continuation of your vacation.  

In the same spirit, it’s best to return home at least one day before going back to work. This will give you more time to adjust your sleep schedule and finish any personal chores before diving back into work.

Plan something nice for the upcoming weekend

Yes, it’s cheating. But who says that you can’t have a short vacation after a big one? So plan a getaway, if you can, for one last dose of holiday cheer. The holidays might be over, but the joy doesn’t have to.

If a weekend away isn’t an option, you can at least plan something you don’t normally do. Like spending the day practicing your favorite hobby or going to a concert. There are so many ways to fight the work blues so find the one that works for you!

It’s very usual to experience sadness at work after Christmas is over. Find comfort in knowing that post-holiday blues are very common and nothing to be alarmed about. Try these 6 tips and you’ll feel like yourself again before you know it. If you have any tips of your own about defeating post-holiday blues that you’d like to share, don’t hesitate to leave a comment!


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