How To Beat The Back-To-Work Blues

By Natasha Van Der Laan
11th Jan 2016

back to work, work 2016, back to work blues, how to beat the blues

Sure, we've loved some time off but it’s time to return to work. After a break, it’s never easy to get back to the nine to five—no matter how much you love your job. 

But it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. Contrary to popular belief, the office isn’t that bad. Start the year afresh with this handy guide on how to beat the back-to-work blues. 

Be Prepared

You’re gonna need a game plan for your first day back (and the days after that). Don’t leave yourself high and dry with nothing to wear or eat and without the tools of your trade. Iron your shirt, prepare your lunch, sharpen your pencils and get a good night’s sleep. Having everything in order will save you from unnecessary stress. 

Transform Your Space

Make your space your own with Extreme Makeover: Workplace Edition. Clear away any clutter and get amongst the Spray n’ Wipe. Give your desk a bit of pizzazz with a pot plant, a framed photo of your lover and/or cat and dabble in some new stationery. A happy environment makes for a happy worker! 

Sort It Out

Organisation and productivity goes hand in hand. While we realise it’s no easy feat, you’re gonna need to sort out that inbox of yours. Delete and archive as necessary and revel in the satisfaction it brings. Secondly, make a weekly list of the tasks you need to do and tackle said tasks in order of importance. Go you organised thing you!

Get Out

Kiss the ball and chain goodbye and head outdoors to eat your sandwiches. Studies show venturing outdoors on your lunchbreak can do wonders to your mood, productivity and general wellbeing. It’s the perfect way to maintain your summer tan and increase your vitamin D intake. All the more reason to enjoy that sweet fresh air, we say!

Play Nicely

No one wins when there’s friction in the workplace. Lessons from primary school apply to the playground and the workplace. Case in point: “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” and “treat others as you would like to be treated”. Don’t be a bully, resolve conflicts and avoid gossip. Instead, focus on being your lovely, friendly self!

Love Thyself

Don’t just be good to others; be good to yourself too. Make sure you don’t dive headfirst into the first week back. Catch up on the necessary admin and then go home for some R&R. Drink your morning coffee in the sun, go for a lunchtime stroll and snuggle down with a book in the evening. Plunging into the thick of things will only cause your stress levels to soar. 

Change it up

It isn’t no fun following the same routine every. single. day. It’s only a matter of time before boredom and dissatisfaction kicks in. Keep life interesting by making every day that little bit different. It doesn’t have to be drastic: do routine tasks in a different order, talk to someone new or walk a different way to the bus stop. Remember: variety is the spice of life. This leads us to our next point…

Get a Hobby

If your weekdays follow the same pattern (wake up, work, watch TV, sleep, repeat), it’s time to get a hobby. Keep your mind engaged and your body healthy by participating in some extra-curricular activities. Do an evening class in cake decorating, take up ballroom dancing or learn Spanish. Living a fulfilling life will make you one happy camper.

Priortise Your Health

Wellbeing rules all. It relates to your happiness, stress levels, confidence, energy levels, motivation, concentration… Get the point? To be honest, it’s all pretty simple: keep active, eat healthy, drink heaps of water and get plenty of zzz’s. You might even work off those festive indulgences while you’re at it—bonus!

Be #Grateful

Never underestimate the power of a positive mind. Count your blessings (write them down, if you desire) and be thankful for a) a refreshing break and b) a job to come back to. Consider your return to the office as an opportunity to make a fresh start.

Plan The Next Vacay

To get you over the hump of returning to work, plan something fun. Book in your next break or plan something nice for your first weekend off. It could be something as simple as going to a movie with a friend or trying a new restaurant with bae. It’s easier to throw yourself into a period of hard work if you have something to look forward to.


If you’re still feeling totally miserable, maybe it’s time to reconsider things. Ask yourself if you’re truly happy in your job. Are you being challenged and do you believe in the work you do? In saying that, don’t resign and book a one-way ticket to Timbuktu on your first week back. Your judgement will be clouded by the haze of your holiday. Ask Mum for advice and sleep on things before you make any life-changing decisions.

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