By Charlotte Carter

It's a sunny January morning, Tauranga is forecast to hit 27C before lunchtime. But it's back to reality. Summer holidays have come to an end, it's time to get back to the grindstone.

The week-day traffic is back to its worst, the emails are piling up and you have to go to a meeting about a meeting.

As many Kiwis are still trickling back to work after the Christmas and New Year break the Mental Health Foundation has some tips to beat those "back-to-work blues".


"Often when we return to work after the longer Christmas break, we can feel lethargic or unmotivated," said chief executive Judi Clements.

"Some people . . . find themselves in a bad mood, and start feeling stressed."

Bay of Plenty Therapist counsellor Evelyn Probert said it was important to make sure you got enough sleep before you started work again.

"Eat well, not too much sugar and alcohol. Make some positive goals that you'd like to achieve that year at work."

"If you've got family and children it's important to get prepared for school and know what's happening regarding the schedules, do some planning so it's not all last minute and stressful," said Probert.

Probert said there is a lot more pressure these days for people to perform.

"People are working a lot more hours than they have done in the past and there's a huge amount of pressure to keep up with the Joneses and that sort of thing," she said.

"I've seen quite a few (people) over the last few weeks getting prepared to get back into school and work and they're freaking out a little bit trying to get things in place before the rush."


Preparation and organisation is key, Probert said.

The foundation suggests you:

Create a harmonious work environment
Have photos of friends and family on your desk.
Think about your personal growth.
Are there opportunities for professional development you could seize?
Review your job
Is it still fulfilling your needs? Ask your manager for a job review.
Take time out
Get at least 15 minutes a day to yourself.