How To Return To Work After The Holidays Stress-free

Have you been scratching your head about how to return to work after the holidays stress-free?

Are you worried about post-vacation syndrome deterring you from getting important tasks done? 

Is starting the year with your best foot forward essential to you?

Working closely with machines, foods, and drinks requires a keen eye and hand. So, it’s critical to be alert, especially in the food & beverage processing industry, to ensure no mistakes and to enhance safety.

Accordingly, we’ll help you learn some crucial tips to get you back into the swing of things. But first, let’s understand what post-vacation syndrome is about.

What’s Post-Vacation Syndrome?

Have you experienced anxiousness, poor concentration, low energy, insomnia, or a short temper after a holiday? 

If so, then it’s due to the somber mood you experience after a period of intense emotions, what you’d normally refer to as holiday blues. The low moods result from the sudden release of stress hormones in the wake of a significant event, such as a vacation.

According to global research, 87% of people are apprehensive when getting back to work after a holiday, primarily due to the following:

  • The number of unread emails is 26%
  • In a busy workplace, 27%
  • Catching up with the backlog, 31%
  • Getting back to a routine, 37%

Nevertheless, these tips will make returning to work after the holidays problem-free.


Organize Your Emails

Emails are the biggest time consumer after returning to work from a holiday. If you tackle them without careful planning, you’ll feel like a deer in headlights.

You’ll miss urgent tasks and waste time replying to less important emails.

So, use labels to triage your inbox, indicating emails that require your immediate attention as “Urgent” and which ones you can respond to later as “Check back later.” Subject lines and recipient information are enough to help you know the urgency and importance of the email.

For instance, an email with the subject line” Project X Update” precedes one with the subject line “Plant closings for Canada Day.” Once you’re done organizing, tackle the urgent ones first and save the less urgent ones for the following day.


Check Work Social Media Feeds During Breaks

Your mind will always look for distractions from work during your first day, and social media is a surefire way to throw yourself off balance.

To avoid the temptation of mindlessly hopping into your social media feeds, check developments, industry updates, and other news during one of your breaks. Then turn off your social media and put your phone on silent mode with the screen facing down to avoid distractions.


Give Yourself a Post-Holiday Treat

First day of work after a holiday feels flat, right? 

It’s because of the excitement of the holiday festivities, fun with family and friends, and just time to yourself, after which you’re now back to the mundane life of work.

But you know what? 

You can make it exciting to return to work. Plan something exuberant to do the first week with your friends, family, or colleagues.

That movie date, cooking class, evening walk with a podcast, or reading time with wine will keep you exultant and help you look forward to getting back to work. The same way you planned for the holiday, plan for this activity (ies), schedule it on your calendar, and show up for yourself.

It will help you achieve a proper work-life balance and prevent you from getting into a rut of working overtime.


Indulge in Healthy Meals and Snacks

The holiday must have been super fun because of all the carbs, meats, and drinks you had. But carrying on with the same diet is barking up the wrong tree – poor nutrition contributes to tiredness and stress, resulting in low productivity at work.

By and large, it’s time to nourish your body and mind for a productive time at work, so you need foods that keep you active without energy slumps and spikes.

Even though you're in a plant or factory environment, food and beverage processing professionals can pack healthy meals too!

First and most important is not to miss your lunch playing catch-up; you’ll be less productive as you start to get famished.

Ensure you have some vegetables, fruits, avocado, chicken or fish, and complex carbohydrates like sweet potatoes and brown rice during lunch. At any rate, adding fruit and vegetables to the meal of your choice still counts as healthy.

For healthy snacks, go for homemade granola, nuts, dried fruits, apples with peanut butter, roasted chickpeas, and other healthy treats.

And are you aware that a 4% slump in hydration can lead to a 50% drop in productivity? That said, remember to have a cool water bottle at your workstation (with water, of course).


Plan Your Breaks

While some people can focus for lengthy amounts of time, most can’t. Even more important to note is that concentration is usually low while you battle holiday fatigue, and getting work done can seem cumbersome.

That’s where the Pomodoro technique comes in.

Do 25-minute work sessions with 5-minute breaks. After every two hours, or once you complete four work sessions, take a 15-minute break and have a healthy snack to recharge.

The Pomodoro technique allows you to focus on tasks for a sustainable length of time before regrouping for the next session. 

Finally At Work

Fortunately for you, QTalent never went on holiday. Our staff had some time off, of course, notwithstanding our platform will be launching soon to connect food production professionals to suitable employers in the respective field.

Our sophisticated platform allows you to create a customized profile and apply to multiple jobs. While you won’t need to send a customized resume every time, follow some resume best practices to ensure your success. 

Imagine the capability to filter potential jobs by job title, benefits, salary, company culture, and location. 

Seamless, right?

We offer that and more, ensuring you don’t scrape the barrel in your job search. Sign up today for a piece of the action.

Elton Mwangi


Elton has been a writer and has contributed his expertise to the HR industry for the last 5 years. He's passionate about working with companies that utilize HR technology to improve the employee experience and the future of the workforce. He starts his morning with a cup of joe and the latest article from HR Morning and SHRM to equip his audience with quality blog content.

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