Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Beat The Back-To-Work Blues

It's grey outside, the holidays are over, and many of us are suffering from the back-to-work blues.  Here are 7 tips to ease you through that difficult first week.

1. Have a transition plan. To help you over the first week, build in some treats - eg, have lunch with a friend, book something nice for next weekend.  Have some emergency chocolate to hand.....

2. Go to sleep. Many of us don't get enough, and it's only when we enjoy an extended period of good sleep during a summer holiday that we realise how tired we had become.  Try going to bed one hour earlier for a week and see what difference it makes.

3. Keep the holiday feeling alive. Update your screensaver with some holiday snaps and treat yourself to an occasional 5 minute daydream reliving the highlights.  Studies show that recalling happy times helps boost happiness in the present.

4. Have you been flogging a dead horse? Some of us make the working day harder for ourselves by ignoring our natural rhythms.  Aim to alternate gloom-inducing activities with those that are easier or more enjoyable. Work out if  you're a lark or an owl (best early in the morning or late afternoon) and try to tackle your difficult tasks accordingly.

5. Start a 'Pink & Fluffy File'. This can be a folder on your computer or a file in your desk drawer. It's where you put letters/emails/feedback that make you feel good about yourself, so when someone sends you a message of appreciation, make sure a copy goes in your file.  Set up a bring-forward to look at the file every so often. Your Pink and Fluffy file counters the natural human tendency to focus on our weaknesses and discount our successes.

6. Start planning your next holiday. One of my clients has a stress management strategy which involves never being more than 6 weeks away from a mini-break. She combines her annual leave and flexi-time allowance to have lots of little holidays during the year. So even when things are tough at work, she has something to look forward to

7. Help someone else.  Pay a (genuine) compliment, to someone at work.  It'll give you both a lift.

Thanks to Lucy Owens for suggesting the theme for this edition of the blog.