April 13, 2024

Send the post-holiday blues packing

3 min read

If your festive break has come to an anti-climactic end and you’re back at work, watch out for something called the post-holiday blues (or post-holiday depression/post-holiday syndrome). It’s a real phenomenon that has been linked to a return to school, or work, after a long holiday period, and it was first labelled as such in the 1950s.

You may have a dose of the post-holiday blues if you’re feeling vaguely anxious or nostalgic, are experiencing an increase in irritability levels, or are struggling to sleep more than usual, or just feel uncomfortable for no apparent reason.

Shaun Lamont, managing director of First Group Hotels and Resorts, says there’s a good reason you are required to take annual leave, rather than accumulating it.

Shaun Lamont, managing director of First Group Hotels and Resorts

“You need to rest and relax to recharge your batteries, or you will burn out! Stress and depression both have a direct negative impact on your performance at work, as well as on levels of absenteeism. Holidays allow us to recover physically, mentally and emotionally.”

While there is no disputing the health benefits of holidays, most of us will have to head back to reality eventually, so knowing how to manage the transition between laid-back holiday mode and ready-to-go work mode will help minimise the effects of the inevitable post-holiday slump.

How do you get over the post-holiday blues? Lamont offers a few tips:

1. Walk down memory lane: Create a digital photobook, post pictures on social media, or make an old-fashioned scrapbook to reflect on all the wonderful, magical, lasting memories made during this past festive season. Reflecting on your holiday, as well as sharing stories of your holiday adventures with colleagues and friends, will help keep the joy alive for a little longer.

2. Book your next holiday: According to a poll conducted by the Institute for Applied Positive Research, simply planning a trip can boost your happiness levels. 97% of poll respondents reported that having a trip planned makes them happier; 82% reported that a booked trip makes them significantly happier; 71% reported having greater levels of energy knowing they had a trip planned in the next six months. Maximise your joy by heading over to First Group to secure your next holiday at a hotel, resort or self-catering accommodation of your choice.

3. Create a countdown calendar: Knowing how many days to go until your next break will create an epic level of excitement and anticipation. There are apps for this purpose, which you can download to use as a daily visual reminder of how many ‘sleeps’ are left. As the number of days decreases, the level of excitement will increase proportionately.

4. Start a WhatsApp group: Add any family or friends who are joining you on holiday to a WhatsApp group and revel in the combined excitement that will soar as plans are made and shared.

In addition to the four tips above, Lamont adds, “You may want to consider returning from your holiday a few days before you are due to start working again. This will give you time to reset your system, mentally and physically, by getting back into your routine and regulating your sleep patterns.

“Remember that as you return to work, try not to get back into the bad habits of working longer hours – and do things that bring you joy. Remember to make time for some R&R in the busyness of life. After all, making magical, lasting memories is what life’s all about.”

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