As we put away the decorations and wave goodbye to the cheer of the festive break, the thought of returning to work can often bring a mix of emotions.
While some people may feel rejuvenated and ready to dive back into their professional lives, for many, this shift from a relaxed holiday atmosphere to the structured work environment can be challenging.
It's a time when feelings of stress, anxiety, or even a sense of loss can surface.
Recognising this as a natural response is the first step in managing these feelings effectively.
Strategies for a Smoother Transition
Ease Back into Your Routine: Try to take it slow and gradually ease back into your work routine. If possible, begin by tackling smaller tasks and gradually pick up the pace to give yourself time to readjust to your work environment. It's about finding your pace and not overwhelming yourself before you’ve even really started.
Plan Something Enjoyable: Counter any feelings of sadness by planning something to look forward to. It could be a weekend away, a simple gathering with friends, a new book to read, or a hobby you've been wanting to try.
Set Intentions for the Year: The new year is an excellent time for reflection. Instead of overwhelming yourself with resolutions, set intentions. Intentions are more about how you want to feel and be, rather than what you want to achieve. They create a guiding light for your actions throughout the year.
Realistic Goals: Setting goals in a work-related environment can help with planning and provide an increased sense of purpose. If you do set yourself specific goals, ensure that they are clear, realistic and achievable.
Practice Self-Compassion: It's perfectly normal and okay to feel a bit unsettled after the holidays. Be kind to yourself and allow time for readjustment.
Self-Care is Key: Whether it's a relaxing bath, a walk-in nature, or reading a book, these activities can significantly impact your well-being.
Mindfulness and Reflection: Take a moment each day to practice mindfulness. Reflect on positive holiday experiences and how they may have enriched you, then carry these positive feelings into your work life.
Stay Connected: Maintain the connections with friends and family that you have enjoyed during the festive season. A quick catch-up with a friend, family member or colleague can be uplifting and create an ongoing support network for both your personal and work life.
Seek Support if Needed: If you're finding it particularly difficult to adjust, consider seeking help from your peers or a manager.
If you need extra support to manage stress anxiety or depression do speak to your GP or a therapist who is qualified to support your mental health. Remember it’s a sign of courage and strength to reach out for help.
As a qualified and accredited Psychotherapist, I can provide tailored one-to-one sessions to help individuals manage stress and anxiety, providing tools to navigate these challenging periods with greater ease.
Additionally, for businesses looking to support their staff's wellbeing, I offer group sessions aimed at fostering a healthier, more motivated workforce. These sessions are not only beneficial for individual employees but can also contribute to a more positive, productive work environment.
Returning to work after a break is a unique experience for everyone. By taking things one step at a time, being kind to ourselves and setting positive intentions or realistic goals, this time can not only be more easily navigated, but also bring about growth and positive transformation.