On the one hand, all that shopping, gift wrapping, cooking and cleaning can really tire a person out. On the other, the late-night partying, afternoon wake up calls and extra freedom can also take its toll on one’s sleep cycle.
So once that wind down begins, some find it challenging to readjust to their old routines again.
It’s become such a phenomenon that researchers call it “post-holiday syndrome” – a term to describe that general feeling of discomfort people get when they’re unable to adapt to work after the holidays, according to the University of Granada.
So what can you do to beat the post-holiday blues?
Global News spoke with life and career coach Maggie Distasi, and Arturo Gallo of Monster.ca, to talk life after the holidays and what you can do to make sure your transition back to work is a smooth one.
For those lucky enough to have time off during the holidays, the whole idea is to disconnect from work, says Gallo. So when it comes to getting back to the grind, the transition can be a slow process.
“We’re not at our peak after the holidays,” Gallo says. “Going back is really a psychological thing sometimes and just thinking of going back to the routine and responsibilities of work can make us really sluggish about it.”
And while the back-to-work transition may not have any effect on some, it could have a greater impact on others – even physically.
According to the University of Granada, tiredness, lack of appetite and concentration, drowsiness or sleeplessness, and muscular aches are just some of the physical effects people can experience. Psychological symptoms include irritability, anxiety, sadness, couldn’t-care-less attitude, and feelings of emptiness.
“It’s a disruption to both your physical and mental routine,” says Distasi. “More people tend to be tired at the end of the day after their first few days back. Their brains are on a different speed, they tend to process things more slowly and have gotten used to not thinking at lightning speed… It’s jarring, overwhelming and it can be a little depressing even.”
The time it takes for a person to readjust after the holidays has a lot to do with how they view their work. If they enjoy it, the transition time will be shorter and less painful. However, if you dread your job, it could take you a lot longer.
“A lot of times with people who are in career transitions, one of the reasons they dread coming back is because they’re not happy with the work that they’re coming back to,” says Distasi. “That can cause a lot of anxiety and frustrations even long before the holiday is over.”
In fact, the post-holiday season is a time when many people reevaluate their jobs and careers, says Gallo.
“It’s a time when we ask ourselves if we’re on the right career path and job and if we’re happy at work,” Gallo says. “The first week of January has always seen the highest peak for job searches [at Monster.ca]. It’s people looking forward to the new year – like buying a house or car. It’s their resolutions so it’s pretty normal that people would feel the need for a change.”
But before you go making any permanent decisions, Gallo advises to take your time and really think your decisions through because it may just be the effects of the post-holiday season.
To help you ease back into the swing of things, both Distasi and Gallo offer several tips that will make your transition a little smoother:
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