You didn't get up at seven in the morning. You didn't take the kids to school before going to the office. And you weren't coming home later than expected due to traffic. The only downside to vacations is that they end, and after enjoying the waves, lounging, movies, and partying, getting up early for work becomes a more difficult task than usual. In this article, we give some good advice on how to return to work after the holidays.
Do I have post-vacation syndrome?
Psychologist and specialist in cognitive-behavioral therapy, tells us what post-vacation syndrome is.
"Post- vacation syndrome is characterized by a picture of anxiety and sadness when we return to work after having enjoyed a vacation period." This anxiety and sadness depend on our level of job satisfaction, on the negative and irrational thoughts that we may have regarding how our life should be, and on external factors that can cause us stress such as traffic jams, our use of transport. , the conditions of our work, inadequate working hours and low pay.
When going back to work makes us anxious, we can put the following tips into practice.
How to cope with going back to work after vacation
- Accept our emotions. We all feel positive and negative emotions, and in this situation negative ones are common for everyone. Benito reminds us that we all feel negative emotions about traffic jams, bosses and meetings, and after having forgotten them during our vacations it is normal for these emotions to return.
- Accept that, for some people, returning to work is more difficult. How we accept going back to work depends on our tolerance for frustration, the way we think about our lives, and our ability to adapt to change. "As in any emotional disorder, how we take things depends exclusively on us," Benito reminds us. "That is why it is so important not to generalize, to see in what personal aspect it affects me and what solutions, even if they are small, I can take to improve my life."
- Wondering if we really have post-vacation syndrome, or if they are just common negative emotions. Post-vacation syndrome shows "that we do not like the routine we have, the work we do, our colleagues, the means of transport, the city ...". Benito recommends identifying what we are afraid of and what we do not like about our work. Only in this way can we solve the post-vacation syndrome, whether by changing companies, working in another city or eliminating our negative thoughts about our work. For Benito, after the “downturn” that most of us feel when we return to work, we will have to find the good side and feel happy thanks to our stability. Otherwise, there is a problem that will require a solution.
- Fix a serious problem, if one exists. We know that we have post-vacation syndrome if we feel unmotivated, apathy, insomnia, irritability and, sometimes, a state of hypervigilance. This syndrome should not last more than two weeks because "it is expected that in that time the person has integrated the routine, schedules and responsibilities," as Benito indicates. "If the negative mood continues, we should go to a professional because we are possibly talking about another type of disorder."
- Modify our way of thinking.Our happiness depends not so much on objective factors (earning money in exchange for doing what we like, having a good salary or working close to home), but on the subjective way of seeing our life. It is important to find the positive side of our situation and not compare our life with that of others. Benito reminds us that “to enjoy vacations and appreciate them we also have to know what effort, responsibility and routine are. If we were always on vacation, there would come a time when we would not enjoy them and we would get used to that state. We would miss working and growing as people at work ”. The cognitive-behavioral therapist adds that "routine and schedules are good for our emotional stability since they give us the ability to control our life."
- Solving the specific little problems we have in our work. Benito affirms that “even if we don't believe it, there are always things that we can change, even if they are small, try to be more assertive with our superiors, leave at the time that corresponds to us from work, stop that colleague who always takes advantage of us. .. "
- Make fun plans. You are back at the office but it is still summer, the weather is still nice and you can still escape to the beach next weekend. Try to make your first day of work after the holidays fall on Thursday or Friday because, even though the holidays have come to an end, you will have two additional days of rest and fun closer than ever.
10 Tips for a Successful Return to Work After the Holidays
A new day begins. Coffee mug in hand, you turn on the computer and start all over again. Emails to be read and answered. Pending tasks and projects await you. You close your eyes and remember that yesterday you were enjoying your trip, but everything suddenly vanishes.
The feeling can overwhelm anyone. The return to routine is an increasingly frequent situation and there is even talk of post-vacation syndrome, a transitory situation that manifests itself with symptoms such as fatigue, drowsiness, muscle aches, lack of concentration in the first days of incorporation to work.
In general, few people return to work with energy and desire to resume their daily workday. When these symptoms occur, it is often said that they are victims of post-vacation syndrome, which mostly affects young adults between 25 and 40 years of age ”.
The main international classifications have not accepted this syndrome as a disease, but it is becoming increasingly important. For some authors it is simply a transitory situation. However, Robert Half recommends 10 tips for turning your routine after a well-deserved vacation from a traumatic experience to a successful transition.
Check the list:
1. Avoid a hard landing
Returning to work immediately after your vacation is over is a common idea among those who want to make the most of the summer period. However, it is not a recommended decision to return to work life.
Plan to go home at least a day early. You will have time to sleep and physically recover from a long trip, to unpack and sort your luggage, organize housework and even do some shopping to face the first week at home.
2. Organize your first day
Spend time the day before thinking about the things you will need to do at work. Collect your thoughts and make a list of issues to solve before you even get to the office. That helps you feel more prepared and organized when you arrive at your workplace.
3. Get to the office earlier
For those who are coming on vacation it may seem crazy, but consider it. In addition to having the time factor on your side, you can avoid the tacos and the rush that generate more anxiety on your first day of work.
Another benefit of getting up early is arriving at the office before everyone else and rejoining in a more relaxed and calm environment, which will allow you to put things in order and even have a relaxed coffee.
4. Prioritize your tasks at work
Based on the list that you have previously thought of, plan what and how you will execute your tasks on your first day of work. Organize everything in order of priority. If there are unfinished business that were not finished before you go on vacation, the idea is to start with that.
Then, it is advisable to solve small things first and, as far as possible, avoid scheduling meetings and taking on new topics immediately. This will allow you to gradually pick up the pace, with time control to gain confidence and avoid feeling overwhelmed on your first day.
5. Organize your mail wisely
Aiming to reply to all emails at once is an excellent intention. However, it is unlikely to achieve this with so many other earrings on your desk. The first thing that is recommended to do is to assume that not all of them will require an immediate response and many others may be considered as spam.
With that logic, the next step is to prioritize all messages. Finally, answer the emails with the most urgent subjects first and finish with the least relevant ones.
6. Set short breaks in your schedule
Even if you plan, there will always be imponderables and unexpected situations. Faced with these possible situations, it is good that you previously consider some free time, either to rest or to dedicate them to the unforeseen.
7. Get back together with the work team
The first days after the holidays are ideal to talk, share the experiences that those who left have had and find out what has happened during your absence.
Without taking time away from productive hours, think about having lunch with colleagues or organizing a short outing after the day. In addition to making your return to your duties lighter, it creates a positive atmosphere in the organization's climate.
8. Take a new look
Vacations are an excellent opportunity to see problems from another perspective. With the relaxation they provide, they allow you to have the mental freshness to tackle a pending issue or problem and find a creative and efficient solution.
9. Set new goals
If during the holidays you were thinking about new challenges and goals, going back to work is an excellent time to take the first step. When you return to work, you can take advantage of the summer break to find the motivation you need to do a course or other type of specialization that you have proposed.
10. Make time for leisure
During the year there is also time to do what we like. Practice a sport, organize social gatherings with your friends or simply stay home enjoying a good book or your favorite series. You can also start thinking about your new trip and already plan your vacation and work towards that goal.
Following these tips will allow you to face the return to the work routine with a better disposition, greater empowerment of your time and organization to carry out the tasks of your work. Fundamental tools to keep the situation under control and aim for success in managing a critical period that affects thousands in the world.