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Overcoming The Return To Work Blues

Now is the time that many of us are returning to work after a well deserved break with family and friends. Many feel refreshed and renewed ready to return to work. Others, however, may be struggling experiencing a case of the return to work blues.

If you are feeling a bit flat about returning to work, following are six simple strategies to help you reframe and embrace the career year ahead of you::

  • Remind yourself the core reason why you go to work. Work provides you with an income which, not only puts food on the table and a roof over your head, it gives you choices (e.g., leisure activities, health cover, holidays).

  • Practice mindfulness as you enjoy your morning coffee/cup of tea/breakfast – how does it taste, savour the smell, look around the room noting what you can see, what you can hear. Mindfulness is a great strategy to bring you to the here and now - becoming fully present in the moment.

  • Consider the aspects of your job that you enjoy (e.g,, closing the deal, providing solutions where others couldn’t) and why you choose the career you did in the first place (e.g., making a difference, helping others). Problem solve the aspects of your job within your control that you do not enjoy (e.g., too much paperwork – is there another way of doing this; a demanding manager – can I be more assertive)?

  • Consider how you would like your career to progress. Establish short, medium and long term career goals. Ask yourself, what do I want to achieve this week, next month and career wise moving forward (e.g., do I want to progress within this organisation/this industry or is it time to pursue study to assist a career transition)?

  • Reframe unhelpful thinking and focus your energy on what is within your control (e.g., rather than ruminating over organisational decisions out of your control – focus on what you can do to increase your confidence, productivity, effectiveness and what you can do to improve your job satisfaction).

  • Start saving and planning your next holiday. Create a travel bucket list and save your next desired destination on your computer screen saver as a reminder that working provides you with shelter and security whilst also funding your leisure and holiday adventures.

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