We’ve all been there. It’s January 2nd (or in this case, January 14th!) and you’re staring blankly at your work calendar, trying to remember what you did before spending weeks off work and out of your routine. You’re pretty sure that after your days spent cooking, hanging out with family and celebrating the use of your pajamas 24 hours a day, your brain doesn’t remember how to adjust to the boring reality that is your job 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year.
Lots of resolution and post-holiday articles will suggest changing things up in your free time to battle these post-holiday blues – and maybe it is a good idea to start learning a second language, volunteering at the local hospital or picking up a new hobby. And if you’re dreading going back to work because you hate it, then it’s possible a new career IS in order.
But not everyone has trouble getting focused because they hate their job. Sometimes, it’s just hard to shift back into a routine after being bombarded with changes from it for the last several days – especially when the changes are a lot of fun. And even though your head knows that the rest of the world had to go back to reality too, the truth is that you’re still sitting at your desk, with no new ideas about how to change up your grumpy attitude.
Although many of us will jump on new resolutions, let’s face it: most of us aren’t going to go out and get a new job. We’re all too busy to commit to a new language, and you might not even be sure how to go about finding a new hobby. But that doesn’t mean you can’t change things up – it just means that maybe those changes need to happen in your every day routine.
The holidays are all about gratitude, giving, and different routines with family and friends – so why not make that a part of your work environment, all year long? Here are some easy ideas for changing up your boring routine and making it a little fun to go back to work.
1. Make something and bring it into the office. If it's something easy, like cookies or a snack, put a few on everyone’s desk with a cute note (or maybe granola bars for those New Years resolutions who ARE following through on their diet plans). Or mix a healthy snack and leave it in a big bowl for everyone to munch on for a little bit for extra energy. (We found some great mix ideas that we love here).
2. Throw a party. If you’re the boss, plan a surprise “post-holiday” party to celebrate everyone getting a jumpstart on the year. Everyone loves a good party, and it shows your employees that you go the extra mile to appreciate them.
3. Learn more about your coworkers. Work is always more fun with friends, and if you're closed off and 100% professional, 100% of the time, it's hard to get close enough to anyone to have any fun.
4. Take a load off. No one wants extra work - but if you see a coworker flagging, reach out a hand to help. Just because the holidays are over doesn't mean your generosity should end. Even if you're more tired at the end of the day, you'll feel better about how it went.
5. Don't stress. This year - just like your calendar - is a clean slate. If you're having trouble thinking about what to do today, think about how the year is going to look instead. Throw out a plan. Even if you don't hit the deadlines you set for yourself, at least you'll have a guide to follow and something to get you moving. And when you're caught off guard in a few months about something farther down the line, maybe you'll even be prepared :)
If you can ways to integrate the holidays into your every day work schedule, then maybe it won’t seem so boring any more – and instead of dragging your feet, anticipating the dreaded post-holiday blues, you’ll have a change to look forward to every day and happy coworkers to share it with. At the very least, it's the kind of gift that keeps on giving - even if the holidays ARE over.