Did you enjoy your time off for the holidays? Of course, you did… I’m pretty sure we all did. However, it’s Monday morning, and it’s time to get back to filing, presentations, and conference calls, among other things. Great, right? The hard part is getting back into the “groove” of things. You are probably not the only one in the office suffering from post-holiday blues, but you can definitely be one of the few who knows how to conquer the feeling! Use these tips to learn how to recover from future temporary layoffs, to continue being productive for your company.

Look at the Bright Side. There are some bright sides to returning back to your normal programming. You’ve taken the time to rest, relax and enjoy friends and family. The hecticness in your home has settled! Take it easy when you’re settling back down into your usual routine. Your more rested self is a good thing and gives you an opportunity to take a renewed perspective on your work, routine, study, or home life pace.

Expect Some Letdown. The holiday season is both joyful and stressful at once. There is family to get along with, gifts to buy and return, people to visit, activities to throw yourself into, plenty of festive food to eat, sales to rush to, and parties to plan and attend. Topped off with the excitement of New Year’s Eve, your adrenaline has probably been pumping a lot of the time during Christmas and New Year’s. Returning to the usual routine and probably a quieter workplace than normal can dampen your spirits just by the absence of exciting things to do and look forward to.

On the flip side, if your Christmas and New Year’s Eve period wasn’t as enjoyable as you had hoped, you can be left feeling down about the lack of enjoyment you expected and this can sour your mood. Expecting to feel a little low is a way of telling yourself that this is a normal feeling and that it will soon pass once the routine re-establishes itself. Look at your past experiences to enlighten you as to your normal post-holiday feelings. Do you always fall into a slump after the holiday season? If you have spent some periods after the last two holidays in despair, then the chances of this post-holiday period continuing in despair are high. Look carefully at what you did last time and what relaxed you. And realize that generally, this is a phase that is easily fixed.

Make healthy choices. After the many indulgences over the holiday period, it can leave you feeling a little out of shape and worse for wear in the nutrition department. Aim to return to eating healthy food, drinking healthy drinks, and ensuring that you keep getting a good amount of exercise. Eating well and keeping up regular exercise will enhance your mood and help you return to good shape and fitness levels.

If you’re worried about not keeping warm enough during the colder weather, have more healthy chunky, warming soups that will both warm and fill you up without carrying lots of calories. Warm salads are also an excellent choice during winter. Eat away your blues. Eat foods that boost your serotonin (feel-good) neurotransmitters. Suitable foods containing tryptophan (the building block for serotonin) include bananas, poultry, dairy produce, and peas.

Keep exercising no matter the weather, lethargy, or weight excuses. Exercise will give you the mood boost you need and gets you moving again. If you’re living in a cold climate, there are plenty of winter exercising options such as walking, skiing, and gym workouts, and for those in a hot climate, swimming, hiking, and water sports are ideal mood lifters.

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