Does this sound familiar? You're just lying on the beach, enjoying a cool cocktail, when it hits you like a bolt of lightning: 'Starting Monday, I'll be back at my desk in the office'. The thoughts of the overflowing email inbox and the piling up projects don't want to give way and so the vacation is actually already over. But it doesn't have to be that way. Here you can find out how a relaxed return to everyday work can succeed.
"Post-holiday syndrome" is the name given to the low mood after a vacation. A fancy-sounding term that sums up overflowing email inboxes, dozens of update meetings and, above all, the alarm clock ringing every day. Sounds at first like there's nothing you can do about it. But that's not true! With a little preparation before the end of the vacation and planning in the first week of work, even the return to work can be relaxed. Here we have collected a few tips that can help:
In the last week of vacation:
Return in good time
Whether it's surfing in Bali, a road trip in Italy or a Corona-related beach vacation in Carinthia - it's important to return on time and allow enough time to prepare for the first day of work. Land at the airport on Sunday evening and be in the office on Monday morning? May sound like efficient planning, but it involves a lot of stress. Showing up at the office overtired and overstimulated thanks to jet lag, or still thinking about the mountain of laundry waiting for you at home all day, doesn't exactly help with a relaxed return to work. So does an empty stomach, because you didn't even have time to buy breakfast. So the rule is: plan your time and come back on time!
Come to the FLOW
Sleep in! Perhaps one of the greatest perks of vacation. At least if you don't have toddlers. However, if the alarm never rings for two or three weeks, you also sleep through the nights and the days always start at 10 or later, the 6 a.m. alarm on the first day of work hits you much worse. To prevent this, it helps to change your sleep rhythm one or two days in advance. That means going to bed earlier and getting up at 9 or 8. Of course, it also varies from person to person how easily the change succeeds. So listen to your body to avoid a sleepless night and dark circles under your eyes in the morning.
In the first week of work:
New start - new happiness
Start work with positive thoughts and take the freshly refueled energy back to the office. A new beginning - even after a vacation - can mean new opportunities and possibilities. Think about what you would like to implement. A new way to get organized? A new goal you've had in mind for a long time? Or just spending your lunch break outdoors once a week getting some fresh air? As an extra motivation boost, you can also take a photo of your vacation and place it on your desk. Reminding yourself of the wonderful vacation experiences acts as an instant relaxation cure.
Rome wasn't built in a day either. The over-motivated colleague may always brag that he answered all his emails on the first day, but let's be honest: Either he already did it on vacation - which we generally advise against! Vacation is and remains vacation. - or he is one of the lucky few who only find 10 mails in his inbox. For the rest of us, it's perfectly fine to take time to get up to date. You don't have to or can't catch up on everything on the first day of work. Make time for it. Block your schedule on the first two days, then you can devote yourself to your mails without a guilty conscience and check with your colleagues what happened in your absence.
Get an overview
Even if you have 200 mails in your inbox, half of them have already been processed by your colleagues. Our recommendation: Work through the trash from top to bottom. Then you can sort out everything that has already been dealt with. The "priority mail function", which is used by many companies to mark important mails, can also help here. These should be viewed and processed first. Otherwise, the rule is: one thing at a time. A to-do list can also be helpful to stay on top of things.
Spend the lunch break with colleagues
Even if there are many tasks waiting, it is important to give yourself a break. A private update from colleagues during the lunch break, where you can also reminisce about your vacation, comes in handy. It's also a good way to get up to date and rejoin the team and the department. And after the short breather, the day doesn't seem so long and you have energy again for the afternoon.
Tips for the future:
Keep the first work week short
Does it always have to be Monday when you get back to the office? The prospect of having a full 5-day week ahead of you again is usually not exactly uplifting. However, if you come back on Wednesday or Thursday, you can look forward to a short first week. You have enough time to take care of the most important tasks, but you know that the weekend is just around the corner. If you want to save vacation days, you can go on vacation before a vacation. This saves vacation days and still offers the advantages of a short first work week.