How to Beat the Post-Holiday Blues!

5 Strategies to Beat the Post-Holiday Blues

office annoyed lady

Returning to work after the holiday season can often bring about what we like to call the post-holiday blues.

These feelings can usually stem from things such as:

  • a change in routine (i.e. going back to work) and a loss of freedom;
  • conflict that may have occurred with family and friends over the festive season; and
  • dissatisfaction with your job or on reflection, the realisation that you didn’t complete those goals you set for yourself in 2016

This week’s blog outlines five tips to help you start 2016 full of positivity and vigour.  I don’t know if there will ever be a remedy to completely eliminate the post-holiday blues, however putting these strategies into place will help you stay focused and stay on top.


  1. Set yourself up for a good day every day!

Treat yourself to a gourmet coffee and listen to your favourite music on the way to work.  Small reminders of your time away will also keep the good holiday mood lingering. Frame your favourite holiday photo and keep it on your desk to remind you of those relaxed days. What works best for me however, is to plan my next holiday!

It might be a low-budget weekend away or your next overseas trip – whatever your plans, it will make returning to work much easier.  One of the keys to happiness is to have something to look forward to!


Key to happiness


  1. Say goodbye to the clutter!

Many of us will return to the office with inbox’s and in-trays full of mail that piled up over the holidays.

Before you start tackling those emails, declutter the paper work on and around your desk!  Start with three piles:

  1. To keep/file (scan and electronically file where you can)
  2. To action
  3. To throw out!

Clutter can cause anxiety and reduce your productivity.  Clearing your desk and your inbox will clear your mind and will foster feelings of control and peace!

As for those emails, follow the same method, to keep (file it away in an appropriate folder), to action (keep it in your inbox) to delete (trash it!).

Also, be vigilant with those pesky emails that you never subscribed too.  Look at the bottom of every email for the ‘unsubscribe’ button and continuously unsubscribe from these.  It saves you hours throughout the year!  If you are concerned the email is SPAM or a virus, just right click on the email and send it to junk.  Emails from this sender will be automatically sent to your junk folder and won’t clog up your inbox.

Once you have cleared your desk find a quote or image that inspires you and reflects your attitude for the year and place it somewhere you will see it and read it many times a day.


  1. Work with your body clock, not against it!

We’ve all said it at some stage – “I’m an early bird” or “I’m a night owl”. Determining your own internal body clock for work is vital as it allows you to understand what times you are the most productive. We suggest saving your most productive time for tackling projects and work that requires critical thinking.  For example, if you fire up in the afternoon, tackle your quick wins in the morning over a double shot of espresso.  Answer emails, schedule your meetings and make your phone calls.  Then, in the afternoon, write your reports or develop that project brief or plan you want to get done in 2016.

For managers, we suggest you also recognise the body clocks of your team and colleagues and help them plan their day in the same way. 

time shirt


  1. Be Positive!

Count your blessings and thank your stars for the refreshing break. Don’t think of work as a burden but a time to make a fresh start. Wear brighter colours and pop your favourite holiday picture onto your screen saver.


  1. Remember, the blues won’t last

It might feel raw at the moment, but take comfort in the knowledge that your back to work blues won’t last. Soon those lazy days will be a distant memory and you’ll be ready to let go and lose yourself in your work again.

Finally, don’t get too wrapped up in the post-holiday blues…time will pass and using the tips listed above should help the feelings to subside. You got this!

walt disney quote



Black, O. The Mind Gym: Achieve more by Thinking Differently.

Hannon, K. Love your Job: The New Rules of Career Happiness.

Mills, C. Career Coach.


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