You have just returned to work after a glorious vacation and you’ve noticed that you just can’t seem to get it together at work: your focus and motivation comes and goes, you’re feeling tired and while your workmates are flying along in 5th gear, you feel stuck in 1st! You find yourself daydreaming about vacation days recently gone by and wishing you were back there.
You’ve got: The Back to Work Blues.
Relax these feelings happen to most people. The transition from the not a care in the world experience to the world of job demands and deadlines is a little bit bumpy for most people. Usually it takes a day or two before you really feel you are back on the job and up to speed.
Sometimes the back to work transition can stretch out over weeks, even months and the emotional and psychological processes that lead to the blues can deepen and turn into more serious levels of depression.
A vacation is a chance to take a step back and look at your work situation from a distance and this can emphasize the negative issues that are at play. You may identify concerns you hadn’t recognized before. The return to work can be made especially unbearable with these new realizations.
Having some distance from your job also gives you a chance to evaluate your personal job satisfaction. This evaluation is something you might not have done in the busy day-to-day hustle and bustle of your life. Even if everything is going well at work, you may come to realize that you don’t enjoy what you are doing for employment and you may question your career choices.
Work can be used to distract yourself from other life issues you are experiencing with family, marriage, money, health or a host of other concerns. While on vacation, with no work to distract you, these life stressors may come to the forefront and cause you great distress. Returning to the rhythm of work may be difficult with worries weighing heavy on your shoulders.
Finding it hard to get back to work is normal for a few days. If it goes on longer than that consider speaking to a counsellor because there may be larger issues at play. You may have access to counselling via your company’s EAP (Employee Assistance Program) and now may be the time to take advantage of this support.