How to Survive Returning to Work After the Holidays

It can be normal, after an extended vacation like the holiday season, to look at returning to work with apprehension. How can we avoid as much as possible the negative emotions linked to the end of this break? The duty gathered advice from four experts in human resources and psychology.

Pick up

First of all, for those who are still on vacation, try not to think about work! “We want people to disconnect during their vacations, because it’s better for their mental health,” says Annie Boilard, certified human resources advisor (CRHA), president of the Annie RH Network. This allows for a richer recovery period and they will return more engaged to work. It may make the return more difficult, but our batteries will be recharged and we will be more productive. »

Gradually get back into rhythm

Despite everything, it is not desirable to wait until the day before returning to reality to resume a pace of life that is compatible with it, believes Julie Carignan, organizational psychologist, CRHA and partner at the consulting firm Humance. “We went to bed late, we stayed in our pajamas until noon. It’s hard physically and psychologically to have to get up earlier, eat at more fixed times, etc. “, she says, comparing the phenomenon to jet lag.

The shock will be less brutal if we prepare for it gradually. “It is also useful to stock the fridge and have clean laundry, so that these kinds of tasks are not added to our working week,” emphasizes Carignan.

Bring back a little vacation with you

“Did you have a good time during the holidays? Have you felt the magic of the Holidays? So continue to have these small doses of kindness towards yourself,” recommends Denis Morin, professor in the department of organization and human resources at the University of Quebec in Montreal.

It can be tempting to overwork yourself to catch up on files that have fallen behind schedule and to put pressure on yourself to perform, believes the expert. But you shouldn’t expect to be productive from the first days, he believes. It is advisable to allow yourself some transition time before starting the machine at full steam again.

“If we had a wonderful holiday season, we must savor the memories and keep them active. They are essential resources for facing the dark months of winter,” says Estelle M. Morin, psychologist and full professor in the management department at HEC Montréal.

However, some people may have experienced difficult times during this period, whether due to bad news, difficult family relationships or isolation. In this case, it is even more important to be kind to yourself to preserve your mental health.

“Some people will set very high goals for themselves. But in a situation where we are already overwhelmed by emotions and worry, we are not obliged to do more all the time,” judges Mme Morin.

Denis Morin also suggests identifying the elements that contributed to psychological detachment from work during vacations, such as social activities and sport. Why not integrate them to some extent into your work routine?

Julie Carignan agrees. “It can be a shock to sit in front of a computer for eight hours again. Why not force yourself to take a walk outside to get some fresh air and be in contact with the light? ”, she asks.

Take time to socialize

Whether in person or online, Mme Carignan considers it important to hear from his colleagues when he returns from the holidays. “Taking an interest in them, welcoming each other back, reconnecting, going to dinner as a team… We may think it’s a waste of time, but the quality of our interpersonal relationships is important at work,” she says.

Prioritize, plan

To avoid feeling overwhelmed by the accumulated and projected amount of work, it is important to allow time for catching up and planning. “We can’t respond to 40,000 emails at the same time. We have to disentangle what is urgent from what can wait,” says Annie Boilard.

“We go file by file,” comments Denis Morin. The more we look at it globally, the more anxiety we have. »

Julie Carignan suggests dividing the months and tasks of the year 2024 into stages and “more digestible portions” to avoid perceiving the whole thing as a mountain.

Starting the year fresh

The start of the year can be an opportunity to take stock of your professional goals and expectations, believes Mme Carignan. “This may be the time to request a meeting with your manager or a colleague whose support could be beneficial in creating a work environment more conducive to our well-being,” she adds.

Mme Boilard, for his part, suggests naming the irritants that occur at work and anchoring ourselves in a collaborative and flexible posture. Everything should allow you to face your work in gentleness and good humor.

To watch on video

source site-44