8 ways to get back into your groove post-holidays.
6 minute read time
Welcome to 2023! A new year always brings hope, excitement, and… some background anxiety.
Even for the most disciplined of us, getting back into the swing of things can be challenging at times. As joyful and restful as the holiday season is, it can also be pretty draining on other many other levels. Catching up with private life admin, chasing down the perfect Christmas gifts, social and family internal/emotional battery drain and eating and drinking more than you “need” can take its toll on body and mind.
While we’d all love to kick off the year in full fighter mode (think Rocky Balboa), some of us have trouble simply getting out of bed.
Thankfully, there are some techniques to mitigate all of this! With the right strategies, finding your groove will be much easier. Here are our tips and tricks for getting back into that optimal workflow.
Stop feeling guilty
The first step toward becoming the most badass version of yourself in 2023 is to stop feeling guilty about not being there yet. Let’s be kind to ourselves and let the judgments and opinions of the mind exit as quickly as they appear. You’d be surprised how many people feel this way post-break. In fact, it’s completely normal to feel lacklustre and uninspired – there’s even research that backs it up.
This particular phenomenon is called ‘post-vacation syndrome’ or ‘post-holiday syndrome’. Sluggishness, fatigue, loneliness, sadness, and disappointment are all common ‘symptoms’ of it, which hit hard after a period of intense emotions. For most people, the blues end after a few days, but for others, it can take longer to process the change of getting back to their daily routine.
To get out of the funk, you should give yourself more time for everything you do, whether that’s catching up on e-mails or hitting the gym, wherever possible ease back into it and don’t be too hard on yourself.
Determine your priorities
While it’s great to ease back into work slowly, not all of us have the luxury to do so. Still, it’s important not to get overwhelmed on the first day.
To avoid this, write down all of your tasks and figure out what has to be dealt with urgently. After you’ve taken care of your priorities, you can focus on less important tasks as time permits. This is going to instantly help you feel at ease and in control.
Re-work your morning (and evening) routine
Win the morning – win the day and if you really want to crush that, it starts the night before. One of the reasons you might lack energy is that you don’t give yourself enough time to prepare for what’s coming. Ideally, you should set your intentions the evening before. Prepare your clothes, pack your bags, organise your lunch and do anything and everything that will allow you a more organised and peaceful start. And of course, always be shooting for your 8+ hours.
2023 is actually the perfect time to start setting your clock an hour early. This way, you won’t have to feel as if you’re playing catch-up with your sleep as you already have all that rest in the bag. Put it to good use, get up a little earlier have a delicious breakfast, read a page from your favourite book, get a morning walk in – whatever it is that will allow you to frame the day for the right headspace and your most badass productive self.
Focus on your ‘why’
We, humans, are purpose-driven beings. Your ‘why’ is what will get you out of your bed in the morning and motivate you for the rest of your ventures. By focusing on this crucial question, you’ll have a clearer vision of what you hope to accomplish.
That doesn’t mean you have to have your entire life mapped out. Breaking your “why” down into chunks is a great way to approach things. It’s focusing on the steps and not being overwhelmed by overarching goals or destinations. If you look at each step you eventually arrive at the destination without even feeling like there was a journey to get there, all while spending more time enjoying the present moment.
Try the five-minute rule
The moment of starting a task is often more difficult than the actual task. If procrastination is stopping you from getting after it, try the five-minute rule. The concept is easy – you have to promise yourself to dedicate just five minutes to work on a specific task. If it’s terrible, you are allowed to walk away after the time has passed. It sounds too easy, right? Well, what this is doing is re-establishing a habit and training your ability to simply show up for a task. This is the exact opposite of the person that decides to push and grind their way into their tasks and ends up slightly destroying their soul with work they just aren’t into and ends up feeling fried 3 weeks after having a great break and decompressing from a big 2022.
The cognitive behavioural therapy technique works great because once you’ve stopped, the motivation typically remains. You’re scaling your workload down and mastering the art of simply showing up and then building on that.
Take short breaks
During the first days of being back at work, make sure to schedule regular breaks. It’s not just important for your mental well-being, it can significantly improve your performance too! Studies show that taking lunchtime breaks increases energy levels and reduces exhaustion.
It doesn’t have to be long – even a few minutes will do the trick. Use this time to clear your mind, prepare a cup of tea or snack on yummy energy-packed foods (like bananas).
Get rid of distractions
Getting back into the rut after the holidays is hard on its own. When you combine that with working from home, it can become mission impossible. The key to success is getting rid of distractions. For humans, focus doesn’t always come naturally – you must ensure you have the right environment. We advise:
● Switch your phone to aeroplane mode
● Use noise-cancelling headphones
● Download a productivity app that blocks time-wasting apps (like Freedom) and use a digital planner
● Clear your space of unnecessary items (use deskka for maximum efficiency
For optimal results place in direct sunlight
If you are constantly feeling tired, perhaps you aren’t getting enough sunlight. According to research, natural light has a major effect on your health and wellness. In fact, when you have more sunlight, you can work more productively. That’s also one of the reasons why nowadays most commercial architects are designing offices with natural light front of mind.
So what can you do if you live in a country where sunlight in winter months is almost non-existent or your workspace doesn’t have a lot of natural light? You can invest in a sun therapy lamp that you can set to turn on for a predetermined amount of time and bathe in its light while it works its magic on your circadian clock ( the 24-hour cycle that happens in our body), your hormone production and all those other good things we need to be our best selves.
2023 is yours. Take it…
Returning to your daily life after the holidays can be tricky. For many of us, this has been the first opportunity to really take time for ourselves and decompress without all the pressure and anxiety of the pandemic. In some ways, that has made the transition into a new year even harder. It really is the first time many of us have had to really “capital R” Relax in a few years without any background anxiety so we feel like the beginning of 2023 kind of hits a bit differently.
While we don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach, there are steps you can take to get your mojo back and start the year right. You just have to find what works best for you so go forth, experiment with some or all of these and make 2023 and all its potential magic yours!
Curious to learn more tips and tricks on productivity? Check out our blog.