By Kyle Michaud, Sustainability Thought-Leader, Consultant, and Best-Selling Author
The holidays represent a much needed, but forced break from work. Of course, even if you gave into rest and enjoyment, the holidays were but fleeting bliss. You have to accept when they’re over and eventually get back to work. The post-holiday blues can hit hard. It’s a bit disconcerting to let yourself enjoy a long-awaited holiday vacation, only to realize that you’ll be thrust back into your demanding work schedule when all is said and done.
Whether you like it or not, the holidays don’t last forever. Eventually, you have to face the work that piles up after you’ve stepped away from the office. The difference between sinking into post-holiday blues or hitting the ground running upon your return depends on how well you handle the transition back to work. It certainly helps to create strategies to proactively put your wellness first.
Refocus Your Personal Habits
Develop specific routines to help you regain the right mindset to do great work, such as:
- Before officially starting your work, spend 10 minutes every morning getting organized and setting your intentions and goals for the day. Don’t focus on specific tasksso much as the big picture.
- Take 15 minutes of your afternoon to go through yoga poses that can help your blood circulation, strengthen your spine, and relieve some stress. A regular yoga practice improves coordination, reaction time, memory, and even IQ scores.
- Use deep breathing techniques throughout the day to help deliver oxygen-rich blood to your body. Jack Feldman, a professor of neurology at UCLA, found that deep breathing helps with anxiety by calming the brain.
Here are a few additional techniques to help you get back into your work groove after the holidays:
Focus on one task at a time
Coming back from a holiday vacation inevitably results in a long to-do list, but multitasking will only add to the time tasks take to accomplish. Put your full focus on just one task at a time, refusing to start on something new until you’ve completed what’s currently on your plate.
Set your priorities
It may be tempting to accomplish back-to-work tasks based on which ones are most top-of-mind. Resist the urge to cross off to-dos based on what you’re currently thinking about and instead mindfully set priorities based on what you need to do now versus what you can plan to do a few days (or even weeks) from now.
Don’t overload yourself right away
Ease back into work after a holiday break. “Use the day simply to catch up”, suggests Brad Feld, VC at Foundry Group (who also suggests avoiding meetings on your first day back).
Get your inbox organized
If you haven’t checked your email inbox during the holidays, you’ll likely face an abundance of emails upon your return to work. SELF shares several tips to help you mindfully get back to Inbox Zero, without getting completely overwhelmed.
Pay Attention to Proper Nutrition
Nutrition plays an undeniably large role in regaining focus and improving energy levels.
After all the holiday indulgences you’ve likely taken part in, going back to work represents the perfect opportunity to get back on track with proper nutrition. As a result, proper nutrition provides the ideal fuel for better work performance.
The following strategies can help you to get back on track after holiday indulgences:
Eating regularly can prevent you from experiencing hunger pains while maximizing your metabolism (to properly regulate blood sugar, insulin, and your appetite). Skipping meals can result in extreme hunger that can lead to overindulging or overeating on your next meal. Having regular meals fuels your body properly so that you don’t get in your own way when it comes to accomplishing important work tasks.
Drink more water and stay hydrated. Water can help maximize physical performance and hydration helps energy levels and brain function. According to Georgia Institute of Technology, even mild dehydration can impact your mental performance.
Eat balanced and nutrient-dense meals. According to research from Brigham Young University, employees with unhealthy diets were 66% more likely to report a productivity loss than the healthy eaters. The research also found that employees who rarely eat fruits, vegetables, and other low-fat foods at work were 93% more likely to have a higher loss of productivity. Even if you’re not interested in proper nutrition from a health standpoint, surely you can get behind it for a productivity boost!
Make Time for Fitness — and Stick To It
Besides its implications for your overall health, one of the many benefits of fitness is improving work productivity.
Proper fitness helps:
- Improve alertness and energy
- Improve mental health (exercising releases serotonin, which can help improve your outlookabout coming back to work from the holidays)
- Prevent illness
Of course, the work and health benefits achieved by exercise aren’t fully realized unless you stick with it. The coming of a new year prompts many to make resolutions for better health, but a large proportion of people who take up a new physical activity drop out again within the first 3 months. It’s important to create goals and accountability in order to maintain motivation.
You may already be well aware of these wellness tips — but are you putting them into action? There’s no time like the present to put your wellness first!
Kyle Michaud is the founder and creator of the world’s largest plant-based consumer festival company: Experience Expositions. He leads the narrative to the bright future of extraordinary consumer-expo experiences. He promotes sustainable consumption and production, and providing more sustainable, green choices for everyday people. Kyle wants all to experience the benefits (and culinary possibilities) of a plant-based diet. VegFest Expos is now the largest plant-based festival in the U.S. with annual events in Edison, NJ and South Florida.
After experiencing overwhelming interest from the yoga community, and completing his 200hr Yoga Teacher Training, Kyle founded The Yoga Expo, which takes place in Fort Lauderdale and Los Angeles annually. The Yoga Expo attracted over 86,000 attendees in 2016, making TYE the largest yoga festival in North America, and Kyle plans to keep expanding and progressing.