Struggling To Work After Holidays? Follow These Tips

post vacation blues

Is Post-Vacation Blues Real?

Here’s an epidemic that no one speaks about: the post-vacation syndrome. It’s everywhere! Post-vacation blues are tangible and visible whether in the first zoom call after a long weekend or post-Christmas.

While the medical community may not officially call it “post-vacation syndrome,” there is a consensus about the symptoms people face after a long vacation. According to a study by the National Alliance on Mental Health, 64% of the respondents said they were affected by the holiday blues. You’re not alone if you dream about your holiday once you’re back to work.

In this article, we will discuss the struggles of returning to work after a long vacation and how we can overcome them.

Struggles Of Getting Back To Work

As remote workers, getting back to work may not be as hard as office goers. You don’t necessarily have to go back to your city and experience the heavy traffic on your commute. Despite the relative ease, you’d still struggle to get back to work.

Here are a few reasons why you’d struggle to get back to work:

  1. The thought of pending deadlines, new projects, and potential backlog.
  2. You had a crowded itinerary and couldn’t sleep during your vacation.
  3. You’re hungover.
  4. You worked during your holiday, and now you feel you didn’t get any rest.
  5. You are experiencing post-vacation syndrome.

Whatever your reason, returning to work after a vacation tends to be hard, even when you love your work. But don’t worry; we’ve got you covered.

Here are some tips for tackling post-vacation blues.

Tips To Tackle Post-Vacation Blues

1.    Don’t Rush Into Your Schedule

After a vacation, jumping into work can be difficult. It is best to give yourself a recovery period. Easing into your schedule will give you some time until you get adapted.

Here’s how you can do it:

  • On the first day of work, take frequent breaks.
  • Talk to your buddies at work and tell them about your vacation.
  • Don’t take up too many projects in the first week.

2.    Set A New Schedule

Sometimes just the thought of getting into the same old routine can give you the vacation blues. So, why not try setting up a new schedule?

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Try working at a different time or place if you have time and location independence. You can choose a new cafe in town or try a co-working space you’ve never tried.
  • After work, go out and play. You can also watch a movie or grab a drink with your friends.

3.    Maintain A Positive Attitude

Sometimes it’s all about attitude. There’s nothing much you can do about approaching deadlines or a new project. But if you can maintain a positive attitude, you can easily take it up.

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Think about the positive aspects of work. Think about the different types of people you’d get to talk to while working on the project.
  • Try looking forward to that Monday morning “Catch-up” call. The call will allow you to see and talk to your colleagues after a long break.
  • Start your day with a pre-work routine. Maybe have a nice cup of coffee or go for a jog in the morning.
  • The distance between 2 weekends is only five days. Remember that you’re only five days away from rest.

4.    Catch Up On Sleep

Most of our vacations are action-packed, with little time for sleep. If you’ve traveled halfway across the globe for your vacation, you’d also have to deal with jet lag.

Make sure that you take a day’s rest before jumping into work.

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Keep a recovery day between the last day of your vacation and the first day at work.
  • The recovery day will prepare you for work and give you some much-needed sleep.
  • Try not to change your sleep schedule drastically during vacations.
  • Take a nap.

5.    Try To Finish Off Pending Work Before Going On Vacation

The last thing you want to see are missed deadlines and backlog soon after a vacation. The whole point of the break was to unwind and approach work with a new perspective. So, make sure you finish off all pending work.

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Finishing off pending work is no rocket science. All you’ve to do is maintain a semi-rigid schedule and keep a deadline such that you’ll finish off work before your vacation.
  • Do not procrastinate.
  • Remember that working on an old project soon after vacation is a recipe for vacation blues.

6.    Do Not Work During Vacations

Some of us tend to check emails and notifications even during vacations. While this may keep you updated, you may feel like you never had a holiday.

Why shouldn’t you work during vacations?

  • Working during vacations can blur the lines between work and leisure. The whole point of vacation is to take a break from work and unwind. 
  • After the vacation, you’d still feel jaded.

7.    Add Variety To Your Life

Nobody likes monotony. When you return from vacation, you can still keep the vacation vibe by changing your day.

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Decorate your desk. Add souvenirs from your vacation or frame one of the pictures you took.
  • Take brisk walks during your day.
  • Do mini-workouts and meditate in between work.
  • Keep some time aside for self-talk.

8.    Practice Gratitude

Remind yourself how lucky you’re to enjoy a good vacation. Cherish all the fun times you had and make an album out of the photos.

Gratitude is not just about imagining how others could be worse off, but also about engaging and recognizing your experiences.

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Keep some time aside for some self-talk.
  • Meditate every day.

9.    Spread Out Your Vacation Days

Getting back to work after a long vacation can be difficult. Instead, spread your vacation days to have mini-getaways throughout the year.

Why should you do this?

This way, you won’t burn out too quickly.

Getting out of a shorter vacation is relatively easy.

Prefer mini-vacations over long vacations.

If you’re a digital nomad, it’s easier. You can travel to your next vacation destination and work there until you’re on vacation again.

Overcome Vacation Blues!

Vacation blues are real. Even people who love their job can come to work jaded after a vacation. However, like everything else, you can mitigate vacation blues with preventive measures.

Steps to avoid post-vacation blues start even before a vacation begins. Good planning and using the above tips can help you.


1. What is post-trip depression?

Post-trip depressions are extreme forms of vacation blues, experienced after holidays or a trip. Often people become sad, uncomfortable and generally feel ill. It can also be accompanied by stress and anxiety.

2. How long do vacation blues last?

Vacation blues often last 4 to 7 days after a long vacation. However, it depends on how fast you can get back to the work cycle.

3. Why does it feel weird being home after vacation?

The sudden change in atmosphere and the feeling of work the next day makes it a little weird.

4. Is it normal to have anxiety going back to work after vacation?

Yes, anxiety after vacation can be normal. It is mainly due to the fear of a new project or a pending project that you were working on before the vacation.

5. How can I overcome the lack of motivation to work after a holiday?

Start by prioritizing tasks and breaking them down into smaller, achievable goals. Take breaks when necessary and stay connected with colleagues for support.

6. Can taking a shorter vacation help reduce post-holiday stress?

Yes, taking shorter, more frequent breaks can help reduce post-holiday stress as it can prevent you from becoming overwhelmed with work upon your return.

7. How can I maintain a work-life balance after returning from vacation?

To maintain a work-life balance, prioritize your tasks and avoid working long hours. Take breaks and time for self-care, and try to limit working from home outside of regular working hours.

8. Should I take time off after returning from vacation to ease back into work?

It can be helpful to take a day or two off after returning from vacation to ease back into work. This can allow you to catch up on emails and tasks, prioritize your workload, and adjust back to a regular work schedule.


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