Post-holiday blues is a thing and it’s growing, rapidly!

It’s a horrible feeling isn’t it, returning from your holiday. The realisation sets in that your holiday are officially over, and it’s time to snap back to reality as it were. Many of us are put off by this thought, and it can lead to re-entering the workplace slightly less productive and engaged than before. Welcome to the feeling of holiday blues!

what are post-holiday blues?

Holiday blues or PHD (post-holiday depression), is a genuine mood we find ourselves in when we return from our holidays. There is a growing concern at the number of people that return to work with post-holiday depression and the impact it is currently having in the workplace. In 2017, 57% of British employees return from their holiday feeling depressed or deflated! Post-holiday depression has always been there – not many can say they’re ready to return from their holiday, but it appears we are less afraid to talk about the subject in today’s workplace.

man suffering from post-holiday blues

Recently, it has been noted that more and more of us are showing strong signs of post-holiday blues. We come back to work with an unintentional sour mood, we struggle to get back into the swing of things and we’re potentially not as approachable as we might believe we are. This can have a negative impact on the team and your productivity.

The negative impacts post-holiday blues has on how others interact with us upon our return, and how we engage with them too. If a colleague says “so are you going to be moody and quiet now then?” you can bet your bottom dollar you’ve re-entered the workplace slightly differently than you might’ve imagined.

There is no data on the numbers around post-holiday blues yet. However, the majority of your colleagues will openly discuss how they dislike returning to work. So, why this openness in discussing an unhappy return from an amazing experience?

could social media be having an impact on our post-holiday blues?

girl using social media

In today’s social media-driven world, everyone is a photographer. Social media also gives us ample opportunity to follow pages/content that reflects what we like in life. For example, if you love your beaches or travelling, chances are you’re following a few travel bloggers on Instagram. We are twice as active on social media when returning from our holiday, exposing us to more of the content of the pages we follow. Coming back to our example we are exposing ourselves to more travel-related content than normal and this can contribute to post-holiday blues.

returning to the dreaded email inbox

The saying “my inbox is going to be rammed when I get back” is used all too commonly, even while on holiday. The image of an inbox signals the idea of routine, of normality, of realism. The fact is that emails and workloads do build up whilst you’re on holiday and will be waiting when you return to work. It’s not a pretty sight and is a major factor in contributing to post-holiday blues!

the weather isn’t quite the same back home

Ever noticed that whilst they might not have much, those who live in the year-long sunshine are genuinely happier? Their vitamin D levels are high thanks to the sunshine and so comes with it the general buzz and happy nature you get from warmer climates.

Unfortunately, we cannot all live in Mauritius or the Maldives, and it’s well documented that a lack of sunshine does contribute to seasonal affective disorder. A large proportion of us will live in countries with traditional seasons; therefore, returning from sunshine to rain has a direct impact on our psyche.

how to overcome post-holiday blues and stay productive and happy

Fortunately, there are ways in which we can tackle post-holiday blues and come back to work as productive and engaged as ever. These simple tips and tricks so can be achieved merely with a can-do attitude.

planning your next trip

A sure-fire way to get over post-holiday depression is to quit remembering what’s been and gone and get excited about the next trip. When the mind is focused on the researching and planning for your next getaway, there is a much more positive mindset generally. This negates the opportunity to reminisce about the past. Additionally, that forward-thinking mindset indirectly contributes towards engagement in your work. You tackle upcoming projects and work in the same way you’re planning your future holiday – with a positive and forward-thinking approach.

avoid social media at all costs

What you can’t see won’t affect you, and giving social media a rest for a few days could be the best way to tackle post-holiday depression. If you can’t see travel bloggers at a beach in Turks and Caicos or climbing up Mount Fuji, then you can’t be depressed at the thought that it could’ve been you!

Furthermore, giving social media a rest generally is good for anyone. Too often we sit in the presence of others but are not actually ‘there’. By removing social media from our lives every now and then, we can encourage ourselves to interact on a more human level with our partners, friends and families, gaining much more positive energy and confidence than from interacting with a ‘like’ on social media.

We can take this positive social attitude into the workplace and gain much more from our internal relationship with our colleagues. This will contribute to a happier and more engaged employee morale.

focusing on the future

Are there things at work or home that stimulate your mind that perhaps your holiday can’t? For example, are you part of a social group that meets on Thursday’s that you missed while away? Is it a friend’s birthday party? Or do you have a weekend trip planned? By having something to look forward to for when you return, you help soften the blow by again helping the mind to focus on the future and positive activities you have planned.

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