Back to work blues? Plan the next getaway

By Vaimoana Tapaleao

The holiday is over and it's back to work. Photo / Thinkstock
The holiday is over and it's back to work. Photo / Thinkstock

Feeling down about heading back to work? Employees reluctant to go back after the holidays - even if they were rain-affected - can take steps to stay on top of the back-to-work blues, say the experts.

They have tips on ways to beat the back-to-work blues - including to start thinking about your next break.

Auckland consultancy company Clarian Human Resources' top tip was simply to "count your blessings".

Be happy that you were away for several weeks' holiday and most of all, be thankful you were paid. Some people around the world don't have that luxury.

Another tip is to tell your colleagues about your break. Have lunch and swap holiday stories - but avoid boasting too much to someone who has worked right through.

Managing director Clare Parkes said one of the best ways to beat the blues was to start thinking about your next holiday.

"If you've got a goal and you have something to work towards, then it does keep you motivated. If you've got something to look forward to - a holiday or even just a long weekend - it can really help a person."

She also suggested taking breaks throughout the year.

"Typically, people have their holidays at the beginning of the year or around Christmas time.

"Perhaps something in the middle of the year would be something to plan for ... [because] it re-energises you again.

"It could be just a Friday and a Monday - just a break - even if you just do the garden for the week."

Other tips include to "get sporty". The Rugby World Cup might be over, but you can still decorate the office for the London Olympics. Or, if you're sick of all the bunting, organise a summer-themed barbecue and invite your workmates.

Business psychologist Jasbindar Singh said it was normal to feel down in the first few weeks of starting back.

"People need to acknowledge that this is the time for transition. People coming back from holidays are in all states of mind.

"Try and ease into things. Have realistic expectations. Slowly ease into your workload."

Ms Singh said it was important for people to start thinking about goals associated with their work, whether it be doing a course to further their knowledge or challenging themselves to achieve a goal by the end of the month, for example.

Auckland psychologist David Stebbing had a different view, saying the last thing people going back to work should be doing is thinking about another holiday.

That means, no photo of your holiday escape pasted to your desk.

"I think that would be quite unhelpful," he said. "Part of the back-to-work blues is your job satisfaction. If you have a job that you enjoy and that you're passionate about, that largely is going to take care of the initial blues.

"You're much better to be focused on where you are right now."

TAKE A BREAK

* Start planning your next holiday.

* Take breaks during the year, not just at the end of the year.

* Put a photo of your holiday escape on your desk.

* Tell your colleagues about your holidays - but don't boast too much to those who have worked right through.

- NZ Herald

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