Getting back to the office after the holidays can be challenging. Chances are that if you’re not still sluggish from binging on turkey, then it’s either the slow recovery from New Year’s Eve festivities, the busy travel schedule, or the general post-holiday deflation that’s causing you to feel lethargic on your return to the office. If the drudgery of work has got you feeling down on this first Monday of the new year, then here are a few tips that should get you back to feeling lively and energetic in no time.
Take Care of Yourself
Taking care of your physical and mental health is always important, but is especially essential during the winter months. You may have heard of seasonal defective disorder, or SAD. It’s most common in the winter months when sunlight exposure is reduced and the weather turns cold and dreary. Symptoms include a lack of energy, depression, changes in appetite, and difficulty concentrating. For more information on the causes of SAD, when to see a doctor, and treatment options, visit the Mayo Clinic’s SAD info page.
If you’re like most individuals, then you probably indulged over the holidays. An extra helping of mashed potatoes, several emptied bottles of wine, and more than enough desserts to choose from are synonymous with most holiday meals. Now that the holidays are over, however, it’s time to back to your usual diet and exercise habits. Doing so helps restore normalcy to your routine and makes you feel more energized throughout the day.
Prioritize and Organize
There may be an overwhelming pile of work on your desk or emails in your inbox on your first day back. Before tackling them, take some time to create a schedule for yourself and set mini goals to achieve on your first week. Here’s an example of a agenda aimed at handling an overflowing inbox:
Monday morning: Skim through all unread emails and categorize each one by importance. Category 1 are the most important emails, while Category 3 are the least important ones. Delete all irrelevant emails.
Monday afternoon: Address all Category 1 emails. Send responses, schedule meetings, and create follow-up reminders for yourself.
Tuesday morning: Address all Category 2 emails and deal with Category 1 follow-ups.
Tuesday afternoon: Address all Category 3 emails and deal with Category 1 and 2 follow-ups.
The end of the holidays doesn’t signify the end of good memories and warm conversations. Share your holiday stories with your coworkers. Likewise, ask your coworkers about their holidays. Positive interactions with coworkers improves your mood and makes easing back into your regular workday an easier task. So share holiday stories with those around you, ask coworkers what gifts they received for Christmas, and discuss delicious holiday recipes that you were able to try out.
Finally, rewarding yourself for meeting your back-to-work goals or just surviving the first week back acts as a motivator and gives you something to look forward to. Did you successfully tackle your brimming inbox? Then put aside some time one evening for a relaxing bath. Were you able to follow-up with your top ten clients? Then go see that new movie you’ve wanted to catch. Did you get through that pile of paper work that your boss plopped on your desk? Reward yourself with a trip to the bookstore and pick up a copy of that bestseller you’ve been dying to read.