I guess that’s why they call it the blues.

By Luke Rickards

January 15, 2016   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

Coming back to work from a fantastic holiday can be a drag, but it doesn’t have to be.


Holidays, aren’t they the best! All that food, drink, activities and great times with great people old and new. Then all of a sudden, clunk! Your alarm clock goes off, you fumble around to turn the alarm off, slump out of bed, get dressed and join the rat race to get to work.

You get to work after a stressful commute with other equally stressed commuters, sit down at your desk and you feel this weight of dread slowly encompass you. That’s right, reality has hit and it’s no longer happy holiday time.

You have a meeting, a presentation to make, a conference call and a shed load of work to get through before the day is over. Stress is building and your positivity you obtained over the holiday is starting to wane.

Don’t worry, we’ve all been there at some point.

Coming back to work from a holiday or any time off can be daunting because let’s face it, we spend most of our lives at work, and this is a lot of time to allow stress to build up if we let it.

How to limit stress on your return.

The best way to ease the transition back into the working week is to keep a positive mindset. Now I know I can hear everyone reading this yelling ‘I know that already’ but if you stay with me I will give you some tips I personally use to keep those stress demons away.

It begins the moment you wake up. Choose a more soothing alarm tone on your phone rather than the traditional ‘ERGH ERGH ERGH’ of the usual alarm clock. This way you can allow yourself to wake up in a better mood, more tranquil, more positive and less abruptly.

Make sure to get a shower and put on some fresh, clean clothes. This will make you feel refreshed and awake and will give you a stronger sense of pride in your appearance.

Before or after you have got dressed and ready to hit the road, take just a couple of minutes to look at yourself in the mirror. Make eye contact with yourself. Smile, and tell yourself that you are going to own this day, you are going to put your all into making this a good day for yourself. This can have such a profound effect on your mental state before you even get to work, a sort of pre-emptive strike of positivity.

There are many reasons people get stressed at work mainly office politics with peers, the general 9-5 slog and huge/tiny workloads. For this post however, I’ll focus on getting you through the first day of general work. By the way, these ideas can be used on any day if you wish, but I have found them to hold particular strength on the first day back when people are most vulnerable to feeling the blues.

Speaking of the blues, listening to music can be a great help to sustaining a happy medium. My advice would be to do this intermittently however as it can be a little anti-social, especially on a day when people may be interested to talk to you about your holidays, so use it sparingly.

Avoid clock watching. Seriously, the sooner you do this after you arrive you are in a whole world of torment. Crack on with your work and the time will pass.

Keeping hydrated. Sounds strange this one, no? It’s so easy to get caught up in the daily routine that the feeling of thirst can creep up on you. This is your body’s way of saying ‘I need water NOW!’ and considering that our bodies are 80% water and just a 2% drop can incur headaches, fatigue and lack of concentration you owe it to yourself to keep hydrated to get through the day.

Keep smiling/stay positive. The importance of staying happy is essential albeit quite tough sometimes, especially on those days when nothing seems to be going your way. Remember the mirror tip I mentioned earlier? Well, when you take your bathroom break, look yourself in the mirror, smile and re-affirm yourself either out loud or in your head. Tell yourself you have your work under control and you are the boss of your work, you are going to show your workload who is boss!

A little technique I like to use is to have post-it notes around my desk saying encouraging things. You are being your own motivator, I believe that if the encouraging messages come from yourself it means a lot more to you, because you are in charge of you and you only want the best for yourself right?

There are plenty of other techniques I like to use but this blog post would become a novel pretty quickly, and you don’t want that right? You have a busy day ahead. Have a great day!

Luke Rickards

Confidence coach based in but not limited to Nottinghamshire UK, helping working professionals overcome their confidence issues. He has always loved helping people and enjoys seeing people happy.

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