The holidays are over. The sun still shines outside, but we can’t bask in it. The water at the beach is still warm, but we can’t swim in it. Instead we are back to our offices and labs, classrooms and libraries. And sure, those places are mentally stimulating. But still.
If you’re suffering from the post-holiday blues, here are a few ways to ease your transition back to work.
Bring the holidays to the office
Bring in your leftover Christmas treats; frame a favourite holiday photo for your desk; or change your computer background to an image of a tropical island. My Gmail background is a picture of the Maldives. It honestly makes the post-holiday email deluge less painful to trudge through.
Cull those emails
Speaking of the email deluge, nobody likes coming back to hundreds of unread messages. If you are suffering with an overloaded inbox, try an express clean-up. Sort your messages by sender so that you can easily bulk-delete any from irrelevant mailing lists. There’s little more satisfying that deleting fifty spam emails with one click of a button. Then you can re-sort by date to go through the remaining messages one by one.
Give yourself another kind of break
If you have to go back to work, you might as well create a break for yourself in another area of life. Try a social media holiday (which has the added benefit of preventing you from seeing other people’s jealousy-inducing holiday snaps). If you’ve overindulged over the summer, a break from sugar, alcohol, caffeine, or other vices can help your body to reset. Or you could take a break from TV and spend your free time listening to music or reading for pleasure instead, to give your brain a little vacation from depressing world news and insipid ad breaks.
Plan a late-summer adventure
The holidays are over, but summer isn’t. Schedule a little getaway in your diary to give yourself another mini-holiday to look forward to. Whether it’s a weekend road trip or simply an afternoon at a local beach, the thought of a little warmth can thaw the cold return to research. (Top tip: check safeswim.co.nz for info on the water quality at your favourite Auckland beach.)