August is the month of holidays. The English summer disappoints us once again and we jet off for some sunshine before the winter kicks in (which is suddenly much closer than we realised). We have a jolly old time, eat and drink whatever we fancy, soak up the sun(burn) and head home feeling refreshed and well rested.
Then we go back to work… cue alarm clocks, morning commutes, and clothes that are suspiciously tight; a phenomenon also known as the ‘holiday blues’.
So why do we feel so miserable when we go back to work? And how can we prevent the post-holiday blues?
It’s really no wonder we feel a little down once having returned from a holiday. Holidays allow us time with our families and time to ourselves. They allow for some peace and quiet, or an opportunity to blow off steam. They force us to ignore our work emails and our daily chores and give our brains the chance to switch off. They allow for quality time in front of a book, or out and about in nature, or exploring other cultures. They offer pretty much the opposite of our day-to-day lives and are often the highlight of the year.
Compare that to the stressed, hectic and fast-paced nature of our 9-5s and you can understand why people feel miserable. But it doesn’t have to be that way – there are several things you can do to help banish those holiday blues and encourage a positive, motivated and happy return to work.
Read on for my top 5 blues-banishing tips:
Boring I know, but essential! There’s nothing worse than coming home every evening to a messy pile of clothes in a half-emptied suitcase left over from your holiday a week before. It acts as a reminder of the holiday you’re no longer on and a chore you still haven’t got round to. Do yourself a favour and unpack as soon as you can. Clothes in the cupboard, suitcase away, feet up.
- Establish a routine
Get back into the swing of things. Routines don’t really exist on holiday, so by the time you return home you’ll be a little out of practice. The sooner you can get back into setting alarms, prepping meals and going to bed at a reasonable time, the sooner you’ll banish the blues. Staying up late in the evenings and skipping that gym class you usually go to may feel great for now, but you’ll soon feel lethargic and in need of routine. Best to hit the ground running if you ask me.
- Eat well
This is an important one. We all enjoy an ice cream and a glass of wine or two in the sunshine, and why shouldn’t we!? Once home however, it can be hard to revert back to your usual weeknight meals and even harder to ensure they’re healthy and nutritious. Opening up your favourite cookbook and spending time to prep a couple of yummy dinners can help get you back on the healthy band wagon and curb those ice cream cravings. And if you’re super organised, you could always cook and freeze your favourite healthy dinner, ready for the night you return.
For more recipe inspiration, click here.
- Get outside
In general, we spend a lot more time outside when on holiday than we do when we’re at home. There’s often lots of sightseeing, long walks in the countryside, afternoons on the beach and, if you’re lucky, swimming in the sea, so heading back to the cold and rain and spending most of your time indoors can be a bit of a shock. Wherever possible, get outside – be it a walk, a cycle ride with friends or just a few deep breaths on your doorstep – you’ll feel much better for it.
- Take it easy
Last but not least, take it easy. Holidays are supposed to be a time to relax and recharge and it will take a little while to get your work-life mojo back. Signing up to a load of social events or agreeing to take on a new project at work aren’t going to do you any favours – instead, keep your diary free for a little while and see how you go. You can always pop out to the pub with a friend if you want to!
I’d love to hear how you guys get back into the swing of things and beat those holiday blues, so comment below or get in touch if you have any further advice!