When you’ve been living it up over the holidays; indulging in (a little too much) wine and beer, participating in uninhibited festive feasting, unwrapping sparkly new gifts and spending lazy hours on the beach, it’s understandable if the idea of returning to work doesn’t inspire much celebration.
They call this post-holiday lull in spirits the ‘back-to-work blues’.
While it’s completely natural to want the merrymaking and carefree cheerfulness of the holidays to never end, with the New Year brings a return to your work commute, meetings, busy schedules and deadlines.
If those words are already inducing dread, it’s time to reshape your perspective and behaviour so you return to work enthused, motivated, and refreshed.
Here’s are 3 techniques to beat the blues come January:
While the idea of goal setting over your holiday break can seem a bit like work, this can be a fun exercise if you bring the right attitude. The last month of the year is the ideal time to reflect on the year that’s passed and re-evaluate what you want to achieve over the next 12 months. A powerful and often more thought-provoking framework to traditional goal setting is the “Be, Do, Have” method.
This method invites you to consider and list:
- The person you wish to BE in 2016 (fitter, happier, more spontaneous, more accomplished, etc)
- The things you’d like to DO (courses or projects you’d like to complete, experiences you’d like to have, hobbies you’d like to take up, holidays or travelling trips you like to take etc), and
- What you’d like to HAVE (new toys, more time, any purchases that would make your life better or easier, etc)
Because it feels more like a fun and ambitious brainstorming exercise for your life, you’ll find yourself feeling inspired and in a positive mindset for the year ahead. You can revisit the list any time you feel you’re veering off track and use it as a reminder to prevent yourself from getting swallowed by the daily grind.
One of the keys to staying creatively stimulated and maintaining a positive outlook is to keep things interesting for yourself. This means taking up a new hobby; trying new things; breaking your routine every now and again; and continuing to learn, grow and challenge yourself.
Write a list of the top 12 things you’ve always wanted to try or learn (these may come straight from your “be, do, have” list) and make a plan for how you will action these.
These may include:
- Skills you’d like to learn
- Courses you’d like to take
- Books you’d like to read
- Subjects you’d like to expand you knowledge of
- Classes you’re interesting in
- Social activities you’ve wanted to try
The next step is booking these in to your schedule next year – try allocating one new thing per month to start depending on the time involved.
So if you’ve been meaning to try a salsa, yoga or karate class – do some research and find a studio near your office to begin lessons; order the books you’re raring to read and get them on your kindle or bookshelf ready to go; do some research into local or online courses in the subjects you want to master and bookmark the ones that grab you.
Having these novel items of interest scheduled or on your radar will keep things fresh and punctuate your week with things to look forward to as you go about your work week.
Prioritise Your Health
Perhaps one of the most critical elements of starting the new work year with gusto is getting back to (or starting) healthy patterns. Whether that’s beginning a meditation practice, getting a gym membership, jumping back into your workout routine, or making some diet changes, defining some clear and specific objectives is important to keep yourself accountable.
In your first week back, be extra mindful of having a healthy satisfying breakfast, staying hydrated with plenty of refreshing H2O, and getting outside for some fresh air and vitamin D. You’ll feel more present, energised and grounded through rush hour and the inevitable daily stresses.
And, if you’ve put all this in place and are still finding work agonising a month into the New Year, perhaps it’s time to rethink your career or start looking for a new position or workplace that excites you.
TWD wish all their readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Our office will be closed from Monday 21 December 2015 and will reopen on Monday 4 January 2016. If you wish to speak with us before this closure period, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 1300 893 000.