Our biggest tip for getting yourself into the right mindset for going back to work tomorrow (or whenever) is to prepare for it. Just a few minutes the day before thinking about the day and week ahead will get your head in the right place, and hopefully lead to a stress free return avoiding any Monday Mayhem.
There are a few practical things to consider about the day ahead, and some ways you will approach the inevitable backlog. These are our suggestions for easing you in to ensure you feel great at the end of the day and at the end of your very productive first week back!
Make sure you know of any upcoming meetings or work that that you need to prepare. Get your 3 big priorities clear in your mind - the things you MUST do, even if some other things have to wait.
Also get a handle on how much time you can allocate to yourself. After days of lounging around in your PJ's until lunch and chilling over a cuppa and an afternoon film, the shock of work can be awful. Work out how you can ease yourself in gently, plan time to get yourself back into things, ensuring you have breaks throughout the day and avoiding working too late.
Make sure you have a healthy and substantial meal the night before and have breakfast (and lunch) ready or planned for the next day.
Overnight oats are a super easy breakfast at this time of year. We empty a whole pack of our porridge into a resealable container, cover it with oat milk, add the lid and pop it in the fridge. In the morning we can all help ourselves - some like it hot (in the micorwave for a couple of mins), some cold. You can add toppings (sliced banana, frozen fruit, some nuts or seeds) or you can even add a dollop into a smoothie. So simple, super quick and so healthy.
Go to bed relatively early and get a good night's sleep, that means around 7-8 hours for most of us.
Sleep is absolutely essential for good physical and mental health and wellbeing, we'd highly recommend you take a look at our Gut Health & Sleep to understand more and find other references for managing your sleep. A warm shower, avoiding screens, ambient lighting, a cosy cuppa and a comfy bed all help to create the right mood for a restful night.
Once you get to work grab a cuppa and focus on getting your inbox and mail sorted so that you are up to date with any issues you need to address.
Try to avoid responding to everything in date order - go through your inbox and identify the urgent and the important, maybe even putting all of the 'can wait' stuff into a folder for later. Delete all of the unimportant, this can distract and is unnecessary right now. Make a list of any consequent actions, highlighting those that you need to sort out straight away. This might take a few hours but will give you a handle on where you are.
Don't forget to change any autoresponders or 'I'm away' voicemails.
One of the best things about work is your supportive colleagues, so try to allocate some time to catch up with them on your first day back.
Whether you actually go to the workplace or work remotely, do put in some time for socialisation. Everyone will benefit from it - you, your colleagues and the worplace overall. A 10 minute chat mulling over the week ahead or even just catching up about the festive season will be time well spent, especially with colleagues who may have had a more isolated time than usual.
Finally, it's a New Year - it's DEFINITELY going to be better than the last one, so why not set yourself some goals for how you are going to ensure 2021 is a goodie?
We're not talking about running a marathon or climbing Mount Everest, but maybe aiming to recycle more? Do some volunteering? Eat more vegetables? Call your friends / family? Set some achieveavble goals that you can check back on in a few months time and be happy with your efforts.