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How to avoid after-holiday blues while you’re back working from home

Performance & Productivity


August 28, 2020

August 28, 2020

Have you ever felt overwhelmed when returning to work after a holiday? Join the club. As the French say: partir c’est mourir un peu – to leave, is to die a little. Swapping your palm tree view for a glum city skyline can weigh you down. Many feel a bit shell-shocked when getting back to work after a long break. Especially in these corona times where we are all faced with working from home restrictions. These tips from our very own Head of VIE People Amsterdam Mechteld Daniëls and HR-consultant Babet Becker will soften your landing.

Plan a passion project for when you return

Babet: “Scheduling time for a work-related project that truly enthuses you is like giving your future self a present.” Do it before you go on holiday so you have something to look forward to when you get back. And once you are back, working from home, make sure to feel connected again with your colleagues. Schedule an inspirational walk with that colleague who shares the same passion. Fire each other up with new insights which came up during daydreaming while your brains got headspace again during your holidays.

Return a few days before going back to work

As tempting as it is to stay at your holiday destination for as long as you can, “it is worth your while coming home a little earlier”, says Mechteld. Allowing yourself the time to land softly, fill your refrigerator and not having to work in between your holiday laundry. Even if your holiday destination was just around the block, create the environment and headspace first, before you start your job again. This will definitely keep you in the holiday spirit a bit longer.

Keep exploring in your own home country

One of the things that makes traveling special is the openness you experience – the fuck-it mentality. All of a sudden you turn into a yes-man. But there’s no need to cross the border to chase the thrill you get from exploring. Babet’s suggestion: “Plan regular, out-of-the-ordinary trips or excursions in your own country or even neighborhood.” Go to a province you have never been to, book a surf lesson, plot your own biking tour through the neighborhood and make a pitstop for a prosecco breakfast on the way. Keep on having these mini-holidays in your home country.

Spend your free time in nature, not on Netflix

“I felt truly calm after a week of sailing in Friesland with my husband and two kids. Being outside and on the water always has a soothing effect on me”, says Mechteld while flicking through her holiday pics. Simulate that holiday bliss by going on evening walks in the park after work, instead of vegging out on the couch.

Schedule quality time with family and friends

All of a sudden you find yourself having real talks by the waterfront – the type of conversations that go beyond the day-to-day recount of events. The frustrations you shared with each other during lockdown are forgotten. You have infinite time to reflect and to connect with family and friends while on holiday. Mechteld: “I play much more games with the kids when holidaying, but as soon as we get back home everyone goes back to watching series and doing their own thing.” So free your schedule for quality time with them when you get back too. “I make sure I have most meals with my kids and husband during the week, so we can share that moment.” And why not plan regular play-dates?

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