“I need a holiday!”
This phrase is coming up quite a bit lately, and it’s coming from people who have spent a little over a month back at work. It comes with much eye-rolling from spouses and colleagues and is assumed to be said tongue-in-cheek. Except it’s not.
While most feel a twinge, or something stronger, of something when going back to work after a break, it should lift at some point. Barring those going into a new position, department or company; or dealing with a colleague who is not returning, those “back to work blues” should be replaced by a comfortable routine. If this is not the case, some investigation is required.
After ticking the boxes of all the must haves such as sleep and food, it is time to consider whether those blue feelings are only associated with work, or if it is a general theme. A general, pervasive down feeling is indicative of poor, or a decline, in mental health (mental health is the more technical term for our feelings and coping strategies). Often one event, such as going back to work, acts as a trigger toward feeling down and we tend to associate the feeling with the trigger, despite the fact that the feeling has migrated into other areas of life.
Considering we tend to spend a great deal of time at work, it is common to think that this alone is the source of feeling down; taking stock of those emotions, their triggers and the areas they infiltrate can help determine if it really is just work blues or if some greater self-care is needed.