You’re back at work after a two-week break. Your boss expects you to be fully rested and raring to go. Instead, you’re exhausted and empty. Sound familiar? Far too many people will return to work after the summer unfit for work. There are many reasons why.
Perhaps you’re at a life stage when going on holiday just means looking after the kids or perhaps an elderly relative in a different location. This can be more stressful and expensive than being at home because you have to work harder in an unfamiliar setting. Perhaps you are of an age where holiday equals party, party, party – hardly restful. Maybe time away from work is filled with a major project: a stressful house move or renovation. Worst of all is when people fill their holiday time with mundane ‘stuff’: chores, DIY, paperwork; for most of us, none of this refreshes.
It’s hardly surprising that the thought of taking up where you left off at work on already depleted energy levels can leave you feeling cross, angry or depressed. Especially if you are going back to a job you hate. So what do you need to do to recharge now you are back at work? Here are 5 suggestions.
Benefitting from a quick fix
Both physical and mental wellbeing is often linked to one thing: getting enough sleep. Sleep is vitally important for your emotional and physical well-being. Ask yourself, what do I need to do to improve the amount or quality of my sleep on a regular basis? Even if your holiday hasn’t been restful, you can ‘treat’ yourself to some early nights and weekend lie-ins. Go on, you deserve it!
Seeing the big picture
To increase energy levels requires taking a birds’ eye view of your life as a whole. What aspects of your day-to-day activities are draining or boosting your energy? What do you need to alter? To cut out? To do more of? Sometimes you can tinker around the edges, other times it requires drastic change.
Author Rick Warren talks about energy levels being like water in a bucket. When your bucket is full and you are energised, you are creative, perform well and feel happy. When your bucket is empty you are tired, irritable and prone to making mistakes. No-one else will fill your bucket for you, it is your responsibility to fill it and maintain the energy levels needed. No matter what season of life you are in, there will always be activities, people or scenarios that either energise or drain you. So ask yourself:
- How full is your bucket at the moment?
- What fills your bucket i.e what energises you?
- What drains you?
- What do you need to start doing or stop doing to ensure your bucket stays full?
Start moving for just 10 minutes a day
After a hard day at work, the pull of wine and snacks with Netflix can be far more appealing than an exercise class. But according to a review of research as little as 10-min physical activity per week or 1 day of doing exercise per week is likely to increase levels of happiness. And it doesn’t have to be a run or on a spin bike. The randomized controlled trials suggested that both aerobic exercise and stretching/balancing exercise were effective in improving happiness.
A common reason why people go back to work not feeling rested after a break is that they still felt anxious and stressed whilst away. If this is you why not explore new job or career options? You don’t know what is possible until you start looking. One way to do this is on LinkedIn. You can tick the open to recruiters box to privately let recruiters know you are interested in hearing from them. LinkedIn hides the Open Candidates signal from recruiters at your company or affiliated company recruiters so you don’t have to worry about your boss finding out.
Don’t spend your life feeling tired and irritable. Take action today to make sure you have the energy levels you need. If you’re unsure where to start, speak to an accredited coach who can work with you to find out what you need to do to balance work, rest and play. Oh…and don’t forget to book your next (relaxing) holiday! It’s always great to have something to look forward to.
Jenny Butter is an Accredited Master Coach and is the founder of Epiphany Life Coaching. She has significant experience in both career and life coaching and enjoys enabling clients to become energized, fulfilled and thrive at both work and home.