These last few weeks can be labelled as busy, chaotic, and exhausting and I’m not even talking about work! I’m talking about the holiday time off that just passed! While I am glad to be back at work, it is tough to get back into the routine again.

Whether you had a relaxing time off, or you still need a vacation from your vacation, the transition back to the day to day routine of work, without the distraction, food and “fun” of the holidays is no easy task. So first thing’s first. Don’t be too hard on yourself, we are all a little rusty getting back into the swing of things.

On that note, I hope you have all had a wonderful, stress-free holiday. For those that are perhaps not feeling the back to work grind, I offer the information below.

At times people may experience depression, the “winter blues” and anxiety. With winter settling in and the excitement of the holidays over, while we push ourselves back to work and may not always recognize when it is time to take care of ourselves.

Don’t forget if you do need help right away the Canadian Mental Health Association has resources available.

Just a few days ago CBC posted an article on the anxiety of returning to work after the holidays and what you can do to manage it.

Last February our WUT? Newsletter (Wednesday’s Useful Tip) focused on some of the signs of the winter blues and a few ways to beat them. The signs of the Winter Blues can include:

• Lack of motivation and loss of interest;
• Low energy;
• Difficulty sleeping; and
• Difficulty concentrating

However, there are a few ways to manage this form of depression that tends to linger during the winter months, so why not give some of these a try!

• LIGHT THERAPY: Use of an artificial light source, as light therapy to create the sunlight you would otherwise get during the summer months.
• SMALL ACCOMPLISHMENT: Boost your motivation by completing small manageable tasks, recognizing each task as an accomplishment and step to a larger goal.
• HEALTHY EATING: Foods that contain the minerals and nutrients to get you through your day not only impact your physical health but can also be beneficial to mental health.
Have a busy day ahead? Think of preparing healthy snacks and meals the night before.
• STAY ACTIVE: Being active for 30 minutes per day is known to provide a fantastic boost of energy, confidence and provide an overall improvement to one’s mental and physical well being.
• EMBRACE THE COLD: As the winter is tucking itself in for a little while, there is no getting away from it we may as well embrace it by getting out there and enjoying what it has to offer, such as skiing, snowshoeing, skating and even bundling up for that walk. On your own or bring a friend.

So, what about getting used to that routine again? Even if you aren’t feeling the blues, maybe you are feeling the difficulty of getting back to the routine, so give a try with:

• Don’t set yourself up for negativity! – “Be the positive change you need.” I know it sounds a little strange, but taking a positive attitude to go back to work can be an excellent start to going back to work.
• Be ready for the pile of work and chunk it out into steps – sure you have been away from the office for a little while, so you might want to anticipate the pile of work that may be waiting for you.

Slow and steady

o Step 1: Make that coffee have a seat
o Step 2: Make a list of the things that need to be completed
o Step 3: Then chip away at it, one thing at a time

• Be patient with yourself.
• Bring something to work or do something nice for yourself and ease back into it.
• Remember it is a new year, so this can be a fresh start to fantastic things to look ahead and look forward to.

You can do it!

All the best in the new year and a new decade!

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