It’s not always easy getting back into the swing of work after two weeks spent topping up your sunburn. Spreadsheets look blankly back at us, the canteen lunch looks sad, and what are all these pale faces talking about in this meeting?
But look over there, at that guy with the silly raccoon tan. Just yesterday he was snowboarding off some California mountain, but he actually looks happy to be back in the office, and he’s even getting stuff done on his laptop. What’s his secret?
A poll by SWISS found that two thirds of us return to work feeling sluggish after a holiday, and a quarter of us even forget how to do our jobs altogether. It seems that far from refreshing our minds, relaxing holidays actually just leave us feeling lethargic, unable to get back into the rhythms of our normal lives.
The solution, researchers tell us, is to take a more active approach to annual leave. Half of those who went skiing, snowboarding, hiking, scuba diving (or even camel trekking) said they came back more refreshed, their minds sharp and their grasp of Microsoft Office in tact.
But if that sort of holiday isn’t for you, is there anything else you can do to stay focussed after a fortnight away? The British Heart Foundation believes there is. It suggests you try waking up 20 minutes earlier, to allow time for a short walk before work. A bit less of the snooze button, a few more moments to clear the mind.
It might also be an idea to join a sports club at work. You could even set up your own water polo team if that will keep you happy. The idea is to give you something active to look forward to each week, something a bit less depressing than the gym.
If you’re still feeling a little sluggish after all that, well, it looks like you could do with a holiday. Got any tips for getting back into the swing of work? Let us know in the comments below.
The work benefits of more active holidays by The British Psychological Society.
Published January 24, 2014.
Returning to work by the British Heart Foundation.
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