How to beat the holiday blues

57% of the UK feel depressed and deflated returning from their summer holidays to head back to work.

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It's a time I remember all too well.

Today, is my first day back in the office after our summer holiday to Wales.  We were away for just over a week, enjoying the glorious beach in Tenby, swimming in the sea and eating ice cream to our hearts content. We had an absolute ball and the weather was kind to us for most of the time. 

It was great to unwind and enjoy some quality time together making memories.

But I could remember a time when holiday's were a form of escapism and as the holiday started to draw to an end, I'd get that sinking feeling of returning to the daily grind of the corporate work life.

I’d suffer holiday blues big time during my corporate days.

Just the thought of returning to work whilst sipping another cocktail in the hotel bar or finishing up a book on the beach, would bring a dark cloud over my thoughts.

How many emails have I got sitting in my inbox?

What disaster 'might' have happened that I've got to deal with when I get back?

How am I going to muster the energy to head into that place that I dread?

Sheer panic would take over me as I'd sort through the holiday washing.  Worrying about something that hadn’t even happened yet and allowing those thoughts to intrude on my holiday time still.

My mind would automatically jump to planning the next time out from work. 

The night before heading back to work, I’d count how many day’s I’d have till the next holiday, or how many day’s I’d have in the office for that week to give myself peace that it wasn't going to be all bad. 

I’d even create an Excel spreadsheet on my first day back in the office.  In one workbook, I'd have two worksheets; the first sheet would contain how many hours to go till home time that day and the second sheet would be planning out how many working days till the next holiday.

I was counting down the days for my freedom.  I was counting down the days of my precious life.

Is this something you can relate to right now? 

 It was that realisation that stopped me in my tracks.  I had to step away from counting down these days and make some changes.  Life is too short. 

The career change was a work in progress and wasn’t going to happen overnight, but for now I needed to deal with where I was and make some tweaks to get life a little more bearable again and appreciate where I was, not wishing my life away.

If like me you're suffering with those holiday blues, here are 3 ways that can really help to make a difference when you’re in that place.

  1.  Do something different each day; break the routine, mix things up a bit and do something different.  Try taking a new route to work, get a different train or bus in or take a walk in your lunch break.  Routines are great at creating structure, but can also contribute to feeling like a robot which doesn’t help when we are feeling flat with our work life. 
  2. Accept where you are right now;  it's tough when you’re in a challenging situation, but this is where you are, this is your beautiful life right now.  I found journaling really helped me to unleash some of those dark thoughts at the time. It allowed me to open up in a safe place where my thoughts, worries and anxieties could come out of my head and I could look at them on paper.  Craft out your ideas of what you do want in your life and what you don't want.
  3. Be kind to yourself; bring a little bit of your holiday into your daily life.  Was there a dish that you enjoyed whilst you were away that you could recreate?  Or maybe you discovered that you liked listening to a podcast or listening to some local music as you relaxed.

Know that this dark phase isn't going to last forever, this too shall pass.  It's from these times we grow and discover more about what we do want and what we don't.

I'd love to hear from you... 

How are you going to beat those holiday blues?  What action can you take to lift your vibe as you return to work?  Share your insights in the comments below.

Josie Copsey

Life Change Expert, Author, Mentor, Josie Copsey Ltd

Career changes, figuring out the perfect job, building incredible leaders and wellbeing are my jam. But before all of this, there was a corporate girl who had to go through quite a few setbacks, lessons and experiences. Ambitious, driven and focused I built a very successful change and training career that spanned over two decades. Helping leadership teams of large companies to transform their business. But back in 2013 I had enough. I was lost and didn’t recognise who I was anymore. A combination of being professionally bullied, suffering with burnout from working 12-hour days and zero personal life had done me in. My corporate work life had taken over me, I was selling my soul to a job and my health was suffering as a result. I took action and quit the job. Getting clear on my career was the ultimate light-bulb moment for me. But, there had been no definitive path in how I go about making this career change happen; all I knew was what I wanted to do and my determination and focus guided me through. I’m a gal who loves to plan and organise – a couple of my superpowers – so I documented every step and action I took knowing that one day, this would help others just like me. Those who have an idea on what they want to do, but unsure how to make it happen. Those who feel lost and hate their job, but don’t know what to do. Those who are stuck and looking for direction. I teach what I’ve done personally to build a career doing what I love and living the life I want. I’m all about taking action; you tell me what you want and I’ll show you how to make it happen. It is absolutely possible and achievable to be in a job you love; a job that brings you purpose and job satisfaction. You’re here for a reason. Your talents, your heart, your passion – you are one of a kind.