We’ve all had it…two weeks of sun, sand, sangria and whatever you are having yourself. No thoughts of work (unless you are self-employed…and in that case work is rarely far away!). And then here comes Monday again, the dreary routine, same old ding-dong and your heart sinks….” is this it?” you ask yourself. Well, here are some tips to change how you feel after coming back from the vacations.
- Admission: Just admit that you feel despondent and squashed after coming back from your vacations. But it will pass. Notice the feeling rather than trying to deny or change it. It is what it is.
- Clear the backlog: With the advent of e-mail, voice messaging and technology, the chances are you will have a backlog to clear. Let people know that you have a backlog to clear, and let them know you will deal with their issues when that has been done.
- Short week: A good idea is to choose your days so that the first week back is a short one. This will make the transition easier.
- Make the change: Often when we are on vacations, we can more clearly see what changes we need to make at work. (That might include looking for a new job!) Identify one small step you can take today to begin implementing that change. Take another small step tomorrow.
- Prioritize your self-care: Identify ways in which you can begin to take better care of yourself at work. This could include drinking more water, staying away from toxic people, saying NO more often, having a major declutter of your work area.
- Overcome overwhelm: One of the most powerful enemies of feeling calm and delivering good work is feeling overwhelmed. Two ways in which you can tackle overwhelm are: (a) stop, close your eyes and take a rest for 3-5 minutes. Closing your eyes immediately begins to help you slow down; and (b) narrow down your focus to what you have to do in the next five minutes (or less). Focus on that one thing. Keep doing this. This strategy got John McCain through torture as a POW. I know your job is bad, but you are not a prisoner of war!
- Build relationships: People don’t leave jobs. They usually leave managers. And quite often, what will keep a person in a job is the quality of the relationships they have with the people around them. Is there anyone in your office that you need to build a better relationship with? If so, could you swallow your pride and see if you could begin building a better relationship with them. It’s much easier to ask people for help when you have already established a bond with them.
- Eat that elephant: If you had a big issue that you needed to face head-on but you have postponed it until after the holidays, this week is the time to get stuck into it. Arrange a time for that difficult conversation, that challenging confrontation. Ask someone to support you before hand and to debrief with afterwards. Get some advice around tactics and strategies to handle it gracefully and honestly.