It happens to most of us and it often begins before you’ve even finished your holiday….a depressive, miserable feeling knowing that you’ll soon be returning to work. No one enjoys going back to the office after a fun-filled holiday, but the reality is that without returning to the office to earn your pay check the possibility of another exciting holiday is limited.

The breaks from work are essential to reenergise yourself, so it is important to find ways to avoid losing all the positive energy you experience while on holiday.

The first day back at work is probably the most difficult one in the year from an emotional point of view, but it can also be an extremely frustrating day arriving back to an overloaded email inbox, decisions were made in your absence, processes have changed that you were unaware of and you just feel the company moved forward without you.

It is extremely important to start work on a positive note to set the tone for the year ahead before your next annual holiday. Here are some tips to help you avoid the back to work blues:

Spend a day at home

Instead of driving all day to get home for a panicked unpacking mission to get to bed in time to return to work the next day, either take an additional day off or come back from your holiday destination a day early. There are always things to do at home before going back to the office like stocking up the grocery cupboard, doing personal admin, getting the clothing washing done and finding time to relax before hitting your desk at the office.

Catch up

There is nothing worse than spending your full first day reading through emails, especially when most of them are spam or outdated communications. If you have access to your emails from a decentralised point we suggest you try to clean your inbox up before heading to the office. You could also phone a colleague or your boss for a quick catch up to determine if anything profound happened during your absence so there are no big surprises.

Ease into it

You might have come up with a to do list while on holiday, or at least a list of goals for the year ahead, but you can’t achieve it all in your first week back. We suggest you take the first week to ease back into things, potentially don’t set external client meetings, use the week to catch up with your colleagues and team to ensure you are all on the same page with regards to the goals to be achieved and formalise this into a project plan so you know what the desired timelines are. Have short, medium and long term goals for the year so that you can manage your own expectations.

Plan your next holiday

It’s much easier facing the next period at work if you have something to look forward to like your next holiday. It’s perfectly normal to feel despondent to be back at work, but the feeling quickly goes as you get back into the swing of things. To speed up the recovery period and avoid the back to work blues, book your next holiday and let the countdown begin!