Has the end of the holiday period got you down already?

It’s all a matter of attitude

At this time of year most people have enjoyed at least a little time off work, so why are so many of us shuffling through office corridors with sad face expressions, or moping about our desks looking as if we’d rather die than be here, at our jobs?

The post-holiday blues might not (yet) be a recognized syndrome but it is something that darkens the first few days after a break for many of us.

It’s no surprise that people find themselves feeling flat when their holidays are over.”It’s a normal thing,”.

During the holidays, people put into the day many, many more pleasurable activities than they would in routine days. Therefore when you stop doing these things, people notice.

”Routine days are filled with activities that are necessary, or part of day-to-day business, and while they can give you a sense of achievement, the amount of pleasure you get from these activities is not great.”

Don’t despair. The post-holiday blues won’t last until your next vacation. They are most often just a period of adjustment while you reacquaint yourself with your day-to-day existence.

But until then there’s no need to feel resigned to a life that doesn’t make you happy.

FIND THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO

Most people get the blues because they live just for the holiday they make such a big deal of this holiday being the only thing they have got to look forward to.

The answer to the blues lies in planning your weeks and months and incorporating other inspiring events and projects that will keep you excited. Self-inspiration can go a long way to put all that effort into dreaming about your holiday, put some effort into dreaming about your reality.

Ideally, every time you come back from a holiday you have an opportunity to dump an old habit and have the energy to build in a new habit – a new way of thinking, a new skill, something you might want to learn or commit to – it doesn’t have to be anything big at all.

Make a list of the things you enjoy doing and schedule them into your life.

CHANGE YOUR THINKING

Try altering your attitude from the moment your holiday is over. Think, I am really excited, I can change things. Ultimately you should come back from holidays with a full tank and be ready to go.

Incorporating one enjoyable activity into your week will go a long way towards alleviating any blues.  It can be a movie, a dinner date, a party or as simple as a soak in a nice, hot bath. But you have to drive that and make it happen.

Some of us are more prone to feeling down after our holidays than others.

If your natural disposition is to think that things are going to go wrong and be hard, you are going to be one of the people who will feel more depressed [after your holiday]. At the same time, there are many people out there who are quite optimistic.

It’s a matter of working out how to tweak your attitude. It’s self-talk that we can change and thus avoid the blues.

LOOK AFTER YOURSELF

Holidays – especially those at Christmas and New Year – often involve a lot of partying and socializing, which inevitably means eating and drinking more than normal – usually more than is healthy. Get enough sleep, eat well and drink in moderation and exercise.  Even a short walk around the block can change your mood when you feel stuck or a bit post-holiday blue.

Getting back into a healthier routine will help to alleviate feelings of sadness.

”We sit around and eat and drink a lot during the holidays and become physically out of sync. So one of the key issues for maintaining mood is to get out and do something physical.

Exercise actually induces changes in the brain that produce opiate-like endorphins, so when you exercise vigorously, even just for 15-20 minutes, three times a week, it bumps up your endorphins and gives you that sedated feeling of calm.

Make the time, consider that there’s good evidence to suggest those people who exercise have fewer days off work and are more productive.

BEAT POST-HOLIDAY BLUES

Avoid the rut Take charge of your life to avoid falling back into the workaday rut.

Book another holiday Just thinking about and planning things can give as much pleasure as doing them.

Make a tribute to your holiday Whether it’s a photo book or photo board, playlist or travel diary, creating a visual or written tribute to your holiday will not only enable you to relive it but provide you with a concrete reminder of the wonderful time you had.

Get outdoors – You’ve probably been getting lots of fresh air if you’ve just been on holidays, so make sure you continue that by nipping out of the office at lunchtime.

COULD IT BE DEPRESSION?

The post-holiday blues are usually transient and won’t affect your functioning – you will still be sleeping, eating and concentrating.  Therefore, you will still see a future for yourself. If you have negative views about the future, or suicidal thoughts, and they go on for a long period of time, you need to see your GP.”

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