After the excitement of a summer break, it can be hard to return to the daily grind and get back into the routine of work, school, and life in general.
The Holiday Blues are a real phenomenon, thought to be caused by stress, anxiety and depression over the holiday season. Some of the characteristics of the holiday blues are; insomnia, low-energy, irritability, difficulty concentrating and anxiousness. But unlike clinical depression, the distress is short-lived rather than long-term.
So instead of dragging yourself through the workday, draw on those weeks of sleep ins, summer fun and try these mood-boosting workplace habits to keep your motivation levels high.
Ease Back In
No one expects you to be a superhero on your first days back. So, take your time to ease back into things. Maybe leave your out of office on for a day longer than strictly necessary to give you some unpressured time to clear your emails. Also, try not to schedule too many meetings for those first few weeks back so that you have time to find your feet.
There is just something so refreshing about having a big clear out and clean up. If you are feeling overwhelmed, take a look at your workspace. If you have your own desk or work area, spend some time decluttering.
Creating a calm, organised desktop helps clear some mental space too.
While we are on the subject of workspaces, try brightening yours up after you declutter. This doesn’t have to be an expensive project. It can be as simple as putting a photo on your desk or an indoor plant nearby.
We all know when you are tired, stressed, and fed-up, it is tempting to turn to comfort food or quick fixes to boost your mood. However, snacking on a chocolate bar or energy drink is a short-lived fix likely to leave you feeling lower before long.
A sugary snack causes your blood sugar to rise and you get a quick hit of energy. But when your blood sugar returns to normal, your body craves another sugar hit for energy. Unconsciously, it can quickly turn into a perpetual cycle of needing sugary snacks to get you through the day.
Pick foods that are natural mood-lifters, like bananas, walnuts, whole grains – or one or two squares of high-quality dark chocolate.
Meditation And Mindfulness
Mindset has a significant impact on our moods. Taking time out every day to learn the skills of mindfulness via meditation is a valuable long term practice. Even five minutes a day can be effective.
You can use journaling as a way to release stressful thoughts from your brain. Getting them onto the page can make them easy to process and prioritise.
Instead of trying to power through your work in one sitting, make sure to take regular short breaks, as well as a longer lunch break.
Resist the urge to work during breaks – this is counterproductive. Without taking adequate breaks from work, employee productivity, mental well-being and overall work performance begin to suffer. Step away from your desk or out of the office if you can – get some fresh air and sunshine, read a book, go for a walk, or chat with friends. You will head back to work refreshed and relaxed.
Listen To Music
Make yourself a playlist of feel-good songs and blast it when you need a lift. Music has the power to drastically change your mood. If you can’t listen during work you can plug in some headphones or use your commute and breaks to power up with tunes.
We know this is said all the time – but that’s because it is true.
Exercise is a fantastic mood booster that can combat anxiety, stress, depression and a host of other issues.
Try to get some movement in during your day, whether it’s a yoga class, a walk around the block with a colleague during lunch, or cycling to work.
Doing kind things for others is scientifically proven to lift your mood as well as theirs. Find ways during your day to help colleagues to experience a rush of endorphins that will have you smiling for days.
Taking better care of yourself outside work could also improve your outlook - getting enough sleep, improving your diet and getting more exercise. Make fun plans outside the office to connect face to face with friends, and set personal goals that have nothing to do with work.
The holiday blues are a very real thing and should not be brushed off lightly. As a manager, the start of the year is a fantastic time to ensure your workplace wellness programme is in place for the year ahead.
An annual wellness programme can help to boost the mood and productivity all year round, and is great way to start the year. If you would like help implementing a tailored programme at your workplace, then get in touch for a free consultation with us here at Wellbeing Workshop today.