The summer holidays are almost over, meaning it’s time to say goodbye to lazy mornings, days by the beach, and leisure travel for a while.
Vacations help you rest and recharge, but when it comes to returning to work, many people experience post-vacation blues – especially if it was a long break.
What is Post-Vacation Syndrome?
Post-vacation syndrome (PVS), also commonly called post-vacation blues is a concept that refers to the anxiety some people face when readapting to work after a vacation.
It typically occurs when you recently return from a long holiday.
Symptoms of post-holiday blues can include anxiety, difficulty concentrating, lethargy, difficulty concentrating, and an overall feeling of discontent.
The effects of these blues can last for a few days until you get adjusted to your schedule once again.
Here are some tips to help you beat the post-holiday blues:
1. Take a day off prior
It can be tempting to spend time traveling till your last vacation day, but returning from your holiday and immediately resuming work the next day is not advisable.
Travel fatigue and jet lag can be additional stressors on your first day.
Try to take a day off before joining and use the time to handle household and personal tasks.
Give yourself enough time to recover so you can resume work with a clear and fresh mind.
This buffer period can help you refocus and get accustomed to your work routine.
2. Don’t take on too many tasks initially & schedule your day
There may be a mountain of work piled up when you get back and it may seem like getting started on every project simultaneously is the way to go.
Working on multiple projects simultaneously can cause you to be less productive, can overwhelm you, and lead to burnout.
Instead, use the first day to get up to speed on project updates and timelines, and meet with your team members.
There might have been many changes since you’ve been away and using the first day to plan and prioritize your tasks is a great way to transition back to work.
Make a daily, weekly, and monthly planner and prioritize tasks according to their importance.
3. Reflect on your experience from the holiday
Vacations are a great time to step back and look at the bigger picture.
If you traveled to a foreign country, you might have found a new custom or tradition inspiring.
If it’s something that can improve your current way of life, it might be a good idea to see how you can implement it.
Share these newfound experiences with your friends and colleagues, they might find it beneficial and would want to experience the same.
Compile images and videos from your trip and store them to relive these memories, sharing them with friends and family can make for some great conversation starters.
4. Get everything ready the day before
Getting all your mundane tasks out of the way can give you more time to focus on more important matters.
Using a checklist is an effective way to tackle the day, especially if you know there are multiple tasks to accomplish.
Make a checklist of things to do like:
- Get your office attire cleaned and ready
- Inspect your car / arranging transportation
- Gather any documents needed
- Setting your alarm, etc.
Finishing these smaller tasks will help you take charge of your day and will give you fewer things to worry about so you can focus on more critical tasks.
5. Spend time relaxing
It will take you a few days to get back on track with everything, so make sure not to overwhelm yourself with work and make time to relax.
Get plenty of sleep and ensure you’re well-rested, this will keep you from burning out.
Plan some after-work activities like walking in the park, doing some recreational activities, visiting friends/family, etc.
Should I be concerned?
Not at all! Once you get back on the saddle and get accustomed to your routine again, you’ll start feeling better.
If you still feel anxious after multiple days, it may be a sign that something’s wrong. Try to introspect and see what is the root cause of this feeling.
Most of us today have a lot to do and too little time to do it. Time management or a lack thereof is a leading cause of stress and anxiety.
If you want to learn how to manage your time, taking a course on time and stress management can help you identify the root cause of stress and help you live a more productive and enjoyable life.