You are in the office, at your desk, in ten minutes you have a business meeting, but you completely forgot about it – instead of work, you indulge in pleasant memories of how you celebrated the New Year with friends at a ski resort … Your dreams are finally interrupted by an angry the voice of a boss or colleague.
You are not alone – although psychologists do not have a specific name for post-holiday syndrome and it does not appear on the official register of mental illness either, most of us are familiar with the characteristic condition on the first working day of the year: it can be called “post-holiday blues” or “post-holiday hangovers.”
“After 10-14 holidays, this is a natural reaction of the body,” says psychotherapist Angelos Heleris. “We temporarily leave our usual shores: we overeat, drink too much alcohol, sleep little – all this creates favorable conditions for physical and emotional collapse, crisis after the holidays”.
Seasonal depression is especially acute for those who, after a vacation on a sunny beach, returned home, where the temperature is below zero.
An unusual load on the body combined with a sharp contrast – you have just had fun and indulge in festive idleness, and now you are sitting at your desk again, projects await you, and you have to answer a million work letters … No wonder the mood leaves much to be desired. According to experts, this condition can last a week or two.
“For many, the holiday season is like a long-awaited dream come true, but, unfortunately, it melts quickly,” says Heleris. “In the transition period of returning to workdays after the holidays, we experience a sense of loss – that’s why we all usually feel sad.”
If New Year’s holidays fell short of expectations, getting back to work can be stressful too. “We are seeing our expectations rise as the holidays approach,” says psychotherapist Randy Hillard. “We hope that cherished dreams will magically come true, but the satisfaction from the holidays is never complete, even if the person is generally well rested.”
It contributes to gloomy moods and depression. Immediately after the holidays, experts note more calls to the helpline, more murders and suicides are committed, and even letters with a question to a psychologist – online or in print magazines – are distinguished by a pronounced depressive tone.
Winter only intensifies the general storm of gloom. It’s still getting dark early, and it’s cold or raining in most parts of the world. Seasonal depression is especially acute for those who, after a vacation on a sunny beach, returned home, where the temperature is below zero.
So what can you do to get your energy back?
1. “In the first two working weeks of the year, treat others, be they colleagues or at home, with care, make allowances for their words and actions, as if they are not themselves,” advises Randy Hillard.
2. Make it as easy as possible for yourself to transition from holidays to work – remember, if you jump into ice water from a running start, you can get a heart attack. Smoothly return to familiar routines – set small goals for yourself so that achieving them will bring joy and build self-esteem. “There is no need to plan an unbearable amount of work and try to have time to redo everything in 24 hours,” warns Angelos Heleris.
3. Don’t get hung up on feelings of loss. Yes, you had a lot of fun, but the holidays sooner or later give way to workdays, but after them holidays will come again – you will still have the opportunity to relax. Resist feelings of self-pity. It’s important to cheer yourself up and stay optimistic. Look for something that immediately cheers you up.
4. Take a long break to start new healthy habits when you return to work. For example, you can give yourself the word to get up from the table every hour for a five-minute warm-up, or greet strangers in the hallways.
five. Think about what you enjoyed the most about your last vacation and bring a bit of celebration to your work. For example, if on the holidays fate brought you together with a friend or relative, with whom you enjoyed a lot, try to find 15 minutes in your schedule to meet and drink coffee together.
6. Be sure to keep in touch with people, communicate actively. People in a gloomy, melancholy mood tend to withdraw into themselves. “Force yourself to communicate even when you’re not in the mood,” insists Randy Hillard. – Communication helps to avoid loneliness, sadness and restlessness. “Book” yourself an evening with family or friends in the coming weeks. But, of course, there is no need to repeat the holiday scenario literally, that is, overdo it with food and alcohol. “
7. Remind yourself often: yes, the holidays are over, but I can have more fun more than once, and very soon.