How to get back to work after a holiday

Beat the holiday blues, getting back to work

Banish those blues

12 things you can do to get you right back on track


When you get back to work after a fantastic holiday you should be refreshed, ready to go and ready to start on those things you’d planned out for your business before the holiday.

But when you decide to get back into your working pattern, you find that everything you thought you had set up before holiday for your team to work on has not been done, or everything you thought you’d already completed is only half finished.

Coming back to work is not always the breeze that you hoped it would be

You get back to work after a fantastic holiday. You should be refreshed, ready to go and ready to start on those things you’d planned out before the holiday.

I’ll let you know that in the past I’ve suffered from a form of tiredness on return from holiday which has been so bad that I took only one week’s holiday at a time to stave off the symptoms.

Lack of Clarity, tiredness can be experienced

Coming back from a holiday you may experience some feelings of lack of clarity, out of  control, tiredness, lack of confidence in yourself, difficulty in concentrating, lack of energy, disturbed sleep patterns where, you either can’t get to sleep at night, wake up in the night or get to sleep just as you are about to wake up and therefore still feel tired. You may not feel like making difficult decisions, you may be tempted to revert to comfort eating. When you are working for yourself it’s up to you to get motivated again.

Holidays are good because they offer a complete change

They give you some happy memories and can be a chance to spend more time with your loved ones.  They offer a chance for fun, recreation and relaxation. So what’s the problem? Consider the contrast between the last two weeks when breakfast has been a time of conversation, lots of food on the table to sample, and now you’re back to your own kitchen contemplating what you can eat in the quickest amount of time.  Listed below are some of the reasons holidays trigger tiredness when you return:

  • Experiencing a life, you love and having to readjust to the harsher reality of your everyday life.
  • Joining in celebrations and drinking more alcohol and eating sugarier food than you are used to which has drained your energy reserves.
  • Experiencing sleep loss due to flight times, early morning trips etc.
  • Getting used to doing very little and being unable to get back into the routine of doing many different things during the day,

Here are my top 12 tips for getting back to work

  1. Take half an hour to Revisit your marketing plan and go over the main objectives, goals and strategies again to familiarise yourself with your aims. This will gently in an un-pressured way bring you back into the reality of what you will be doing.
  2. Set up some space for yourself to visualise the achievement of your goals and how it will feel, what it will mean to you and the results of your efforts so that you know the reason for doing this work.  As long as the reason is meaningful to you, this should help motivate you into the reality of your work life and doing the things you need to do.
  3. Start working on something easy from your plan and complete it. The feeling of success you will get from completing a task will make you want to do more. This will bring confidence flooding back to you.
  4. Plan sometime in the week for, movement and exercise, this will get the endomorph ins circulating in your bloodstream to increase feelings of wellbeing.
  5. Set a time to go to sleep each night that will give you 7 to 8 hours of sleep, with some relaxation and winding down time before sleeping. It’s during sleep that we produce the hormones responsible for brain regeneration and muscle growth (check this).  It’s possible that you are actually tired as you may have had less sleep than usual on holiday, early morning flights etc. and getting back into a regular circadian rhythm will help.  Going to sleep when you are feeling tired and not forcing yourself to keep going until the second wind from 11pm to 1pm will encourage a regular rhythm.   Foods such as almonds, avocado, shrimp and spinach encourage the production of melatonin which is a hormone that is said to induce restful sleep.  Certain fruits contain melatonin and if eaten in moderation an hour or so before bedtime can induce a more restful night’s sleep.  These are kiwi fruit, bananas, pineapples, oranges.
  6. Aim to start the day with a little meditation to give you back your sense of control and balance stress levels.  This again will help to balance any rising levels of cortisol produced by a stress reaction to returning to work.
  7. Aim to reduce caffeine and alcohol intake.  Excess alcohol and caffeine are thought to increase the amount of cortisol in the blood stream. (A small amount of cortisol is natural but Excess cortisol produced by the adrenal glands as a response to stress increases the amount of sugar in the bloodstream to give the body energy for immediate action.  When cortisol is circulation it prevents nutrients being deposited in the muscle therefore reducing muscle mass and decreasing your ability to burn calories.  Instead extra energy is deposited as visceral fat around the vital organs.)  Reduction of these substances on return from holiday will soon get your adrenal glands back to normal production meaning that you are less in a state of tension and
  8. Go back to your diary and check over the things you have planned.   Give yourself a morning or afternoon to do this and gradually acclimatise to your list of things that you should be doing.  This again will help to bring back your sense of control over what you are doing.
  9. Go through again what your reward will be for achieving your next goal.  Spend 5 minutes or so visualising the achievement of this goal.  Now all you have to do is to complete the planned steps for achievement.
  10. Once you’ve completed an easy task make a start on a more difficult task, this may be a complete task or on that is a smaller part of a larger project. If it’s part of a project it’s likely to fall into a 90-minute schedule.  Make sure that you have everything prepared and organised the day before so that you are ready to start the task then GO. Record your achievement in the diary and congratulate yourself.
  11. If you find certain tasks mundane, think about doing them in a different way
  12. Reward yourself for getting through the first week with a treat of your choice – meal out, watch a movie, read a book, go to a yoga class. It’s your choice.

What about you?

Do you find it difficult to start up work again after a holiday?  What’s your favourite remedy?  Post your comments in the box below.


If you’d like to discuss setting up a plan so that you have a schedule to work to please contact me.

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