4 Tips to Help You Thrive in the First Week Back at Work

Alastair Davidson

Alastair DavidsonContent Specialist, Firstbeat

Corporate Wellness

Work colleagues have a big role how you feel when returning from holidays.

For most of us, this week marks the return to the working world after a hard-earned break over the festive period. And, after all the turkey, time off and tinsel, it can be difficult to hit the ground running.

Even the most enthusiastic employee can take time to get back into their usual routine. Whether that’s taking the alarm clock out of hibernation, tackling the commute, or opening emails instead of presents. In fact, according to a recent survey, UK workers take an average of four working days to fully adjust.

But there are a few things you can do to help ease the transition from mince pies to meetings. Here are four tips worth remembering…

Stay organized

We’ve all experienced it. The fear the night before the first day back as you imagine opening your email inbox. It’s almost inevitable there’ll be a backlog to work through over the next few days, but it can be managed by taking it one step at a time. Allocate some time to work through your inbox without distraction and prioritize what is most important. Just seeing the number of unopened messages edge closer to 0 can reduce your stress levels.

And being organized doesn’t have to stop with the inbox, either. Use the new year as a chance to reorganize your workspace. A clear desk can often lead to a clear mind when it comes to completing your to-do list and will set you up for a strong start to 2019.

Rediscover your routine

The holiday season can leave us all a little out of whack. Remembering which day of the week it is can feel like a real achievement. And with different sleep patterns, daily routines out the window, and your diet and exercise patterns taking a back seat over the festive period, it can be a challenge readjusting to the schedule of a working week.

But the quicker you can remember what works for you, the quicker you can get back up to speed and it all becomes a little easier. Maybe you’re an early riser who likes to be in the office first? Do you have a set order of things you do when you first get into work? Or perhaps you always seem to have effective afternoons after grabbing lunch at your favorite spot? Re-establishing your winning routine can help get you back into the swing of things.

Realistic goals

This time of year is full of new year resolutions. It is sticking to them that is the hard part. Setting realistic, achievable goals at work can help you stay energized at a time when many of us (up to 44 percent according to one study) are suffering from the ‘January Blues’.

A meaningful personal target gives you something to strive for, lets you refocus your energy for the year ahead, and pushes you over the hump. Refocusing your ambitions can give you a new lease of life as you start the new year.

We’re all in it together

The first week back at work can feel like a struggle but, remember, your colleagues are all in the same boat. They’re likely facing an overflowing inbox and trying not to hit the snooze button after a week or so of waking up naturally, too.

Take some time to reconnect with your colleagues. Meet up over lunch and discuss your time off. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to confide in them if you are struggling to get back into the flow of things. Let’s face it, most people would prefer to still be eating advent chocolates and watching their 4th Christmas movie in a row, but a positive working atmosphere can boost your own positivity and make the jump back to the real world a little easier.

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Alastair Davidson

Alastair Davidson Content Specialist, Firstbeat

Alastair is a Content Specialist who has previously worked in sports journalism and tech communication. These experiences now help him create unique content about Firstbeat's role in sports and wellness in the form of blogs and case studies. An avid sports fans, Alastair continues to play football in his native U.K., and enjoys keeping up with the latest wellness trends.

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