After an extended few weeks of fun and frivolity, it’s easy to feel a bit blue when it’s time to return to the office. Add to that the few pounds you might have gained from over indulging, the dreary British weather and an empty social calendar, and you really will be feeling a bit ‘bleurgh’!
So, how to banish those back-to-work blues? We’ve come up with our top 10 tips, which we hope will help to get your spirits back up.
1. Brighten up your desk with a gorgeous new diary
Granted, we live in a digital world, but nothing can compare to a lovely new diary at the start of a year. The clean, blank pages represent a fresh start and a chance to begin the year as you mean to go on. This year I’ve discovered the ‘Action Day’ weekly planner range, which seems perfect for the independent worker.
2. Set your goals and make a plan
What is it that you want to achieve this year? Goal setting can be a great way to inspire and think positively about the year ahead. If you take some time out to think through your goals and ambitions, it can really help to lift your attitude about being back at work.
3. Writing is therapy
If 2014 was a difficult or disappointing year, maybe you’re feeling apprehensive about what lies ahead. Take a leaf out of the experts’ book and write down your feelings, worries and darkest fears. Do it honestly and unapologetically, as it’s for no one’s eyes other than your own. Once your thoughts are written down, you can begin to let go. Writing can be very cathartic and enable you to move forward.
4. Book in something to look forward to
January can be such a bleak month, so diarise something fun for the end of the month that you can set your sights on. Depending on your budget, it could be a night away with your other half, a ticket to see a show, a table at a restaurant you’ve been desperate to try out, or a get-together with friends.
5. Eat clean
After a sedentary couple of weeks of eating and drinking, your jeans might be feeling a little bit snug and your metabolism could need recalibrating. All of this can make you feel sluggish, so set aside January as the month for clean eating. There’s no need for an extreme ‘detox’, but try to focus on eating whole foods that are unprocessed and unrefined, making them as close to their natural form as possible. Try to reduce your sugar intake too, which may mean hiding or giving away those leftover chocolates!
6. Get active
Seek out a healthy dose of mood-enhancing endorphins through a new exercise routine. If you’re not regularly active already, find a new weekly activity to take part in which will get your blood pumping. One idea is to see if there is a local Parkrun taking place near you, which is a free, weekly 5km timed run, for all ages, shapes and abilities.
7. Do you need a change?
If the thought of going back to work is genuinely depressing you beyond the normal post-holiday blues, then maybe it’s time for a change. If a new job is in order, begin the New Year with the motivation to do something about it. January is very often a good time to be job seeking, so don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today.
8. Organise your finances
Did Christmas stretch the old purse strings a little? If that’s the case, rather than burying your head in the sand and carrying around that worry, spend an evening going through your finances. Put together an action plan, which will not only address any debts or outstanding bills, but also help put your finances in a healthier place for 2015.
A cluttered desk is a cluttered mind. If you’re feeling blue, give your workspace a spring clean and chuck out the things you no longer need. Come up with a system for paperwork and filing to help you to tackle those nitty-gritty admin jobs head on, so that they no longer mount up.
10. Keep an acknowledgement list
The trend of writing an acknowledgement list rapidly gathered pace across Facebook and Instagram last year. There are variations on the trend, such as ‘Things I love on Thursday’, or ‘5 things I am grateful for’, but the intention is to celebrate and be grateful for the small things which have happened in your week, which might otherwise go unrecognised. Sharing these lists with your friends, via email or social networks, can be a good way to lift each other’s spirits.
Do you suffer from January blues? If so, we’d love to know if our tips help to boost your spirits, and likewise let us know if you have anything to add.