I'm officially post-holiday and feeling the sting.
It seems that things at work are getting more and more unpredictable as the company enacts sweeping changes. I've been around longer than most, more than five years, and I've never seen it quite like this. Restructuring, administrative musical chairs, cryptic company-wide memos, nixed holiday bonuses; its leaving me slightly on edge.
I've taken to sorting my afternoon Chex Mix snack into neat categories to calm my nerves. And, despite all the weirdness, it's insanely busy.
Taking a week and a half of PTO at the end of the year has caught up with me in a tremendous way. I've made the decisions eat lunch at my desk more than once since coming back. I'm seriously wondering if time off is work the hassle once its over? The flooded inbox, the mountain of sticky-note tagged items in my chair, the multitude of voicemails that must be returned though I know that half of them probably don't remember calling in the first place. (*sigh*) But alas, I have work, which is more than can be said for 10.2% of Georgians, so really I shouldn't complain. Somehow, holiday gifts are still trickling in Mid-January and there's nothing like an unexpected jar of individually-wrapped Rice Krispie Treats to brighten up a day!
And the weather has been miserably cold. Yes, I know its January but us southerners are accustomed to mild winters with the occasional two or three day "wintry mix" thrown in just to remind us why we choose not live in colder climates. But this frigid weather descended upon the Southeast over a week ago with temps dipping into the teens. At one point, Atlanta was colder than Alaska. . . Alaska, people! No one has time to be courteous now. Southern hospitality fades at 17 degrees. It even snowed, once, and only a few inches fell but since we were below-freezing, it hung around for days. Ice slick roadways made driving, even walking, hazardous. I actually made it across the frozen parking lot at work only to step in the door and slip. The fall was legendary. Think Home Alone. I was on the ground before I realized I was falling.
No, there is not a lawsuit pending but it did get me to thinking about a very real disorder, post-holiday blues, as I lay there wondering if anyone had witness the fall. PHD is a living, breathing, palpable funk that usually hits hard this time of year after the intense excitement of the end of the year holidays, especially if there's craziness at work. The lack of energy and motivation, sticker shock from overextending on must-have Black Friday deals, the fact that the next paid holiday may not be until May and just overall bad mood can strike even the most focused Working Girls so I googled these tips for getting back into the groove:
- Exercise! Okay, you’ve probably heard this a million times but exercising does make you feel good! Start working some form of exercise into your daily routine—you don’t have to buy a gym membership; going on walks or a 20 minute run three or four times a week is good enough, as long as it gets the heart pumping. Exercising will make you feel more alert and awake, which will help you perform well at work, even if you don’t want to be there. It will also help you get to bed at a reasonable hour, which will help your sleeping schedule get back in order. And of course, it will make you look good as well as feel good!
- Clean up. Get organized and put away all holiday decorations. This will help you mentally move on and get into a better mindset to get back to work. It will also take some stress off, knowing that you get to come home to a clean environment will give you some peace of mind.
- Take time to reflect on the wonderful things you did during your vacation. You may realize that, although the holiday is sadly over, you made the most of your time off and had a lot of fun. This will make it easier to accept that it’s time to get back to normalcy.
- Don’t forget about the little ones! Adults are not the only ones that don’t like going back to the old routine—your kids feel it too! Help establish the old routines by getting them to bed early and limiting how much TV they watch. Encourage them by reminding them that school is fun and how all their friends are excited to see them again. Have a positive attitude about going back, so that your children will mirror this positivity.
- Start thinking about the next fun thing you want to do, or the next vacation you want to take, so that you have something else look forward to.