How to beat the September blues
September is rolling on, and while autumn definitely has its merits – golden light, the thrill of a fluffy new pencil case – there’s no doubt that for many of us, it can bring on a touch of the post-holiday blues as we return to work and the nine to five.
No wonder award-winning travel website Momondo.co.uk found that 65 per cent of us feel sad or in low spirits when the holiday season is replaced by the everyday commute – up four per cent from last year. And more women (70 per cent) are affected than men (58 per cent).
In fact, across the 23 countries questioned for their International Travel Survey, Brits were almost the most depressed nation, with only the Polish feeling more glum (67 per cent) when returning from holidays – far more than the international average (47 per cent).
But don’t despair. We asked work psychologist Annamari Heikkilä for her top ways to make returning to work a little bit easier:
1 Practice acceptance
‘Identify your thoughts and feelings. It’s OK that the end of your vacation feels a little bit sad and you’re not feeling so creative yet. Don’t fight back, just breathe deeply and let them go.’
2 Remember, you need work as a contrast!
‘Who wouldn’t want to always be on holiday? A holiday is a wonderful reward after busy days at work and planning your next holiday can be started right away. However, it’s worth remembering that work itself, your achievements and your colleagues are also an important part of your wellbeing.’
3 Look back – and forward
‘Ask, how did you do it last time? Is it possible to start a little bit lighter, plan a few shorter workdays or start with the easiest tasks? Do remember that there’s still a few warmer, lighter days left. If you have nice plans for the evening, your work will be much more fun, too.’
4 Make a list
‘Consider, what are the good things at your work and the trickiest ones? Could you make some things a little bit different or make better use of your existing strengths?’
5 Set concrete goals
‘Complete your work bit by bit in bite-size chunks so you can tick them off as they’re finished, helping you feel like you are accomplishing tasks and progressing throughout the day. When you break your day down into smaller chunks, you’ll find that the work day starts to run by surprisingly fast! Remember to talk to your colleagues as well, this will help take your mind off your last holiday, and will help pass the time more quickly!’