Returning from a long holiday weekend or a summer vacation can be tough. Everyone enjoys time away from work and it's especially good to recharge and remember all the fun of real life outside of meetings, projects, and deadlines. That said, sometimes the day of return into work can be brutal and there are two types of co-workers to avoid (and avoid being):
The Overly Enthusiastic.
Yes, everyone enjoys positive people, but sometimes The Overly Enthusiastic can actually be like the first morning light switch in the bathroom - the brightness is just a *tiny* bit harsh and makes people squint from being uncomfortable. There is a subtle difference between being excited to be back in the office doing what you enjoy and killing everyone else's mojo because they aren't feeling the exact same vibe just yet. If you are the happy, bright sprite in your workplace - don't cheer about being back at work TODAY (...maybe by Thursday). Give people space and just be gently positive. Think kind and pleasant - not excited and jumpy. Oh, and save all the weekend/vacation story sharing until someone ASKS. And even then, keep it brief. Leave others around you wanting more (not less).
The Grumpy Grumperson.
It's an easy disposition to have and yet this mood can absolutely destroy productivity and isn't that the entire point of why you went to work today - to get stuff done? Like the overly happy co-worker, the grumpiness can suck away momentum just from heavy sighs of discontentment (you don't really have to SAY anything). If you are feeling a *little* strain getting back into the swing of things at work try to remember that your work is important. Think through what you need to accomplish just for today. Try to focus on being productive. Getting things accomplished will help the mood shift and everyone will appreciate being around the nicer version of you. Oh, and try to eat a little better than usual. Add a piece of fruit for a mid-morning snack and get up and walk around a few times. These subtle choices will actually trigger your mind toward feeling more positive.
Basically, fake it till you make it.
Returning to work after a period away can be something you look forward to or dread - depending on how you feel about your position, the work you do, and the company/boss you work for. Over the next few Mondays, take stock of how you feel. If you feel dread often, then maybe you need to consider looking for a new job. If you are "just okay" with your job - then consider what you can do to make it one that you will enjoy more. The idea is that the people you work with need to view you as someone that adds value to the team/company. So, if you are "not feeling it" today, try to focus on the work at hand. Fake the feeling and it will help you make it through the day.
And, by the way...
You will only help yourself if you have items in your workspace that feel aligned with your personal style. It doesn't take much. For instance, if you like flowers - bring in a bundle of very affordable flowers. Combine them with some bright art or cute containers and that sense of "I've got this" will overtake any negative juju.
If flowers aren't your thing, here are some other ideas:
- a framed picture of your pet or travel destination
- a small plant (and don't forget the indoor plant food!)
- a mug that speaks to your style point of view
- a good book
Simply add a few items of comfort and style to your space and this "short" workweek will feel a little more manageable.