Do you have the ‘Back to Work’ blues?

It’s hard coming back to work after a good holiday break. Just 72 hours ago you were relaxing on a tropical beach, indulging in a bit of retail therapy or exploring the countryside, and not thinking of presentations, reports, filing, or speaking to clients.

As Ozzies we can get a decent 10 day break, as most companies shutdown between Christmas and New Years. A good 7-10 day break gives you the rest, relaxation and chance to surrender to a new rhythm, but that first day back at work can be hell.

How was your first day back?

After chatting to your work colleagues about the fab time you had in New York, Noosa or Nelson Bay, it’s now time to get focused on those 102 emails sitting in your inbox.

Not happening is it?

After letting your second cuppa get cold and finding another excuse to make a third, it’s almost lunchtime. Careful the day will be gone before you know it.

How do you motivate yourself after an awesome summer holiday or any long holiday? Because you don’t want to be bringing your ‘vacation brain’ into the morning’s strategy meeting.

Firstly it requires some prep work before you leave home and then changing your work routine on the day to better cope with your first day back.

Here are my top 5 tips to surviving your first day back at work.

Tip #1 Hopefully you won’t have forgotten to set up a voicemail message and an “out of office/holiday” alert. I use Gmail and they allow a pre-schedule vacation notice to be scheduled in advance. In your email message, you might like to give alternative emails or numbers to let your reader know when you’ll be back at work.

Tip #2 Another before you leave tip; sometimes projects won’t wait for your return and will need to be delegated to co-workers. Whilst you may have delivered reports etc, it’s wise to brief your co-worker/boss so you won’t be interrupted during your Thai massage.

Tip #3 Do not fly home on Sunday. Seriously! The unpacking, washing and buying food for the week is hugely overwhelming, depressing and quickly puts you in a post holiday funk. Ease back into your life!  Arrive on Saturday and slowly get your home and work clothes in order, and then schedule a little me-time for Sunday to let that holiday buzz linger a little longer.

Tip #4  Ok so you’ve made it to work. The first thing to do after a little holiday chit chat is to write a list of the top five priorities for the day. Start working out how you will go about completing them by days end. I would not recommend announcing to all “I’m back”, particularly your clients. Try keeping a low profile, so you can tackle those urgent messages, and sort through what documents have been dumped on your desk.

Tip #5  What can you look forward to work wise? We can all find both good and bad aspects of our job. Getting up early, driving in traffic, filing etc, will fail to keep your endorphins up so Sunday evening as you iron your blouse, focus on the good points of your job. Are they meeting clients, a networking event, or goals for the year? This will help keep you in a positive Monday mindset and stop you wallowing at your desk.

Why not keep this blog on file. That way you can implement some of the above tips before taking your next trip away.

Not thrilled to be back at work? , Maybe it’s time for a career change.

Fiona Craig is a life coach, psychotherapist and published author of the award winning book, “Stuck in a Rut – How to rescue yourself & live your truth” helping women get unstuck from their job rut and onto finding their dream career. Her transformational career coaching package helps her clients remove the fear, worry and guilt to confidently take the steps towards creating the life they want to live.

Fiona has been interviewed by The Australian Women’s Weekly, and The New Daily, and written articles for I Am Woman Magazine, Women’s Fitness magazine, Girlfriend Magazine, Career One, Sunday Life Magazine (Fairfax), Collective Magazine, Herald Sun Melbourne, plus several blogs and online publications. You can learn more about working with Fiona at or call 0405 433 217.

Image: © Can Stock Photo / diego_cervo