Here you are, you month of September – peak “back to work” time.
You’re coming to the end of a well-earned holiday, feeling relaxed, positive and happy. Then you start to imagine being back at your desk, and all at once, the mood dips, and you’re in danger of losing that summer feeling, bringing on a case of September blues.
Does this ring a bell? Weeks away from the screen, calendar and meeting rooms, and already on the first day back, the daily grind of work threatens to swamp you. But there is another way!
You’ve only just switched your computer on again, and your inbox is already overflowing? Don’t delete all your holiday good vibes with those emails, and make sure that you don’t get caught up in the urgency of catching up with everything in the first few hours. Try to distribute the workload over the next few days, so that each project can be given the care and attention it deserves, and no one needs to panic.
Even “mini time-outs“ can be really helpful. Interspersing several breaks throughout the day, when you can focus on breathing, is an ideal way to deal with the hectic pace, and bring our minds back the present moment.
Or try another way to settle your mind: choose an object, for example the telephone, and breathe deeply once or twice, before using it.
On holiday, there is no alarm clock to rip you out of gentle dreams, and you can easily take a little nap after lunch. But once you are back in the rhythm of working life, a lack of sleep can start to wear you down. That tired, hollow version of you shouldn’t be allowed to get the upper hand, so you must allow your body to get enough rest and go to bed early. That will help you to find your way back to the right sleep-wake cycle. A relaxing bath before bedtime is also a simple way of finding a moment of respite, best enjoyed with a warm cup of tea and a few simple breathing exercises.
Every evening, we set the same alarm clock, go the same office the next morning, at the same time, always taking the same path; it can become frustrating over time. And yet it isn’t even so difficult to escape the routine – just take a different way to the office, or get out a stop earlier, then you can take a short walk and discover a new part of town, and maybe use the time to try out a walking meditation…
If you are thinking back longingly to your holiday destinations, look back through your photo albums. Leafing or tapping through the memories, you can transport yourself in time to recapture those feelings of freedom, adventure and human connection that you experienced far from home. And the literal icing on the cake? Why not try to recreate one of the dishes you ate on holiday, and put on one of your favourite holiday songs in the background?
There is no better time than a holiday to do something that you have wanted to do for ages: finally pick up a book, admire the sunset or stretch out in a hammock and let your mind wander. Those are all relaxing activities that help us to recharge the batteries, both physically and mentally. Why wait until the next holiday? Let’s use the long winter months to take time for ourselves and for things that help us to switch off from the daily grind. Yoga perhaps, a language class, cooking lessons, concerts or theatre tickets.
Finally we have put together a few more useful ideas for you, to help prepare for a relaxing return before you even leave for the holidays:
In this spirit, we hope you all have a great start to the last part of the year!