7 ways to take the sting out of going back to work after the holidays

07 January 2018 - 00:00 By Jessica Evans
There are ways to make your daily life the best it can be, and dreaming of your next getaway is one of them.
There are ways to make your daily life the best it can be, and dreaming of your next getaway is one of them.
Image: iStock

So it's January already. Back-to-school ads have reminded you of your responsibilities
(all those lists, all that shopping), and it's time for you to get back to the office and be polite to your colleagues, who always want to make light conversation with you before you have had your morning kick of caffeine. You have to do it, but how?

1. GET INTO A ROUTINE

Suck it up. Set the pace for the year ahead and settle in to your routine as soon as you can. It will be tough to reset your body clock after weeks of lazy mornings and late nights but stick to the same sleeping pattern and it will become easier.

2. EXERCISE

Nobody decent really enjoys exercise but regular exercise need not be either vigorous or monotonous. After abusing your liver and your gut over the festive season your body deserves fitness now more than ever. Walk the dogs yourself for once, or find something you would like to try, like boxing or dancing. The hardest part of exercise is starting your fitness regime - make like Nike and Just Do It. Join something in a group so that you stay accountable and just make it fun. Do not lose sight of those new year's resolutions you always slack on.

3. BUY THE BACK-TO-SCHOOL STUFF

No, we're not talking about the kids (this should be done already). We're talking about you. Plan a fun day trip and get some cool pens and stuff. Good stationery makes for good productivity. Doing this will wrap your head around the fact that the holidays are over and you need to get back to work soon.

4. MAKE YOUR WORKSPACE LOVEABLE

Declutter and organise your work space. It will focus your mind on what needs to be done in the new year and clear your mind of the old stuff you do not need any longer. If you make your work space an enjoyable place to be in, it will make work nicer to be at. Whether that means making it all feng shui, improving your filing system, investing in that chair you want or decluttering your computer, now's the time.

5. KEEP YOUR SOCIAL LIFE ACTIVE

The end of the holidays does not mean the end of all things fun! Nor does it mean that any social event may only take place on weekends. Forget the countdown to Friday and make plans with friends and family throughout the week. Have a picnic with the kids, have a braai, go on a date; the list of options is endless. There is no need to become a robot slave to the system when the holidays end. Believe it or not, you are in charge of your life and doing more fun things will actually make it more fun. Do not waste most of the coming year on feeling miserable about work.

6. MAKE SOME GOALS

It is time for the annual flood of the "new year, new me" spiel. Why not join the party? Make a list of things you would like to achieve throughout the year and try to avoid losing momentum by keeping this list somewhere you will see it every day. Aim for a promotion, a holiday, a better fitness level, or a happier life, and work towards those in every way possible.

7. PLAN ANOTHER HOLIDAY

This is an extension of No6 but making a big goal like a small getaway won't just give you something to work towards but also something to count down to. If you insist on loathing your working life, this will get you through it. The post-holiday slump is a universal truth and beating it is understandably difficult, but it is possible. Embrace your inner Instagram teen girl and "make 2018 your year".