The Struggle Is Real: Here's How To Ease Back Into Your Work Routine
by Chiara Micallef
The thought of going back to work after the holidays may feel ghastly to most. Some may be overtaken by a sinking sense of dread when thinking about their return to the office – the endless backlog of emails, incomplete tasks and urgent meetings can give anxiety to some.
It's not because you dislike your job – it's just that post-Christmas blues mixed in with attention-needing tasks, endless emails and waking up early can make one's return to the office seem and feel quite daunting.
We have compiled a list of tips that will help you cope with returning to work after the Christmas holidays.
1. Ease back in gently
Rather than leaving everything to the last minute, and scrambling to work, try to ease in gently this year.
Set out any essentials you would need to get back to work – organise your desk if you are working remotely, clean up the area and remove any unnecessary clutter from your home office. If you are planning on physically going back to the office, make sure that your lunch and outfit are already planned, along with your work bag and any other essentials which you need to take along with you.
2. Sleep well
Chances are that your sleeping schedule was thrown under the bus over the holidays. Maybe you were binge-watching series till way past your bedtime, or you were getting up past midday – whatever the reason was, now it's time to reset your sleeping routine and get a full night's rest before starting work again.
If you think that you will be having problems sleeping, try to get some exercise done the day before, maybe go for a walk or squeeze in a quick visit to the gym.
3. Reconnect with your co-workers
This might be a tad bit trickier to pull off if you are working remotely, however you can set up an online meeting with your department to catch up with your colleagues after the holidays are over.
This will help in easing you back into work – nothing beats catching up with your work friends and sharing your holiday experiences with them. Finding the time to reconnect with your workmates is a great way to get back into your routine gently and make your first day back to work more bearable.
4. Make plans
Ok, so maybe this year we won't really be able to book a holiday and be whisked away to a beautiful land far, far away (thanks, Covid). But that does not mean that you won't have anything fun to look forward to.
Making plans for after work will help you feel less afflicted by the ruinous post-Christmas mood you've found yourself in.
You could try out new recipes for dinner for example. Fine, you cannot go abroad, but you can surely bring some new and exotic flavours to the table.
Plan out things you enjoy like grabbing a coffee or visiting a friend. If you do not feel like going out, get your hands on a new book, buy a new board game or plan a cosy movie night.
5. Take up a morning habit
This could be anything from going for a brisk walk before starting work or getting a leg up on your emails by getting to work a tad bit earlier than usual. If you're working from home, you could begin your day with a stretching routine to loosen up your muscles after sleeping. Some people swear by eating a big breakfast, while others prefer to rise early and meditate for five minutes or so. By taking up good morning habits, you will be able to start off your day on the right foot.
6. Accept the fact that dealing with some tasks will definitely be a nightmare
Keeping your expectations realistic will save you from a week of doom and gloom, trust us. Accept the fact that yes, there will probably be a never-ending load of emails, a sizeable backlog of work and even deadlines that you will need to meet within the first week of work. It can help if you set small but achievable goals to help you get a better sense of accomplishment throughout your day though. This will motivate you when it comes to tackling the more toilsome tasks at hand.