This holiday might just actually be “the Hap Happiest Time, of the year” afterall. There is no telling. But, in many cases, with the holidays quickly approaching, it is easy to get caught up in a mountain of “have to’s” and anxiety. For most professionals, the time away can sound like a much-needed respite. But, the reality of what often happens can feel more like a roller-coaster, than a restful time to enjoy family and friends. Do you relate to this scenario?: Weeks of preparation and planning lead to a rewarding Christmas, and now it is time to rest. Bowl games, food, movie theatres, several well-deserved naps on the sofa,… more food and then it hits. The thought of returning to work can hang like a dark cloud, a heavy sense of dread.

You are not the only one. Maybe that brings some relief. But, as always, knowing that there IS a problem is only the beginning. Before considering what to do to address this dilemma, it may be wise to assess two areas of your life. First, the fact that the “blahs” have found you may indicate that a more restful rhythm to your work life is worth a consideration as you enter the new year. Hard work is rewarding, and there is no doubt that you have blessed your family and others with your efforts. But, is it sustainable? Your body might just be telling you; “nope”. Listen and obey.

The second worthwhile contemplation is whether the work environment has continued to be healthy and rewarding. It takes courage to ask this tough question. But, it is often healthy to be assessing this regularly, rather than in reaction or crisis, at a later date. If you find yourself in a healthy work environment, in which you and others are treated with dignity, that’s half the battle. The second part of your assessment should be that of your skills and passions being utilized to the point that there is peace. If you find yourself asking, “What am I doing here?”, you might be asking the right question.

So, what are you to do if your job is suitable and rewarding, but the post-holiday, back-to-work dread finds you never-the-less? Here are some ideas:

  • Set aside two days to ramp-up, back into work form by doing some of the following.
  • Return to your work week sleep schedule.
  • Put the starchy and otherwise gluttonous foods away.
  • Choose active activities over passive ones (ie, get your movie time in earlier in your break). Walk the dogs more, they will thank you with sloppy kisses.
  • Stay in touch with anxiety-producing bosses, clients or co-workers as opposed to avoiding. This may mean checking emails, as needed. However, this will require healthy boundaries. If these are not possible, you may have discovered this during your first two contemplations.
  • Talk about your experience with a trusted friend or partner. Chances are, you’ll be a help to them as well.
  • Complete an enjoyable home project in order to maintain a sense of productivity.

Whatever it is that gets you through the holiday break and allows you to return to work in a healthier way, we would love to hear about it. Give us a shout at (616) 591-9000, and may your season be blessed.

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