3 Tips To Beat the Post-Holiday Office Blues

Where did the tinsel, champagne and revelry go? Now, in Chicago anyways, it’s just cold. 

To make matters more challenging, with Presidents’ Day over, many of us have no more professional holidays until Memorial Day. Let’s face it. This time of year can be hard. It’s difficult on the homefront, and it’s tough at work. Sometimes I feel less like I’m killing it and more like I’m just trying to survive.

But I want to do better than that. This year I made it my New Year’s resolution to make peace with this season. It’s emotionally defeating to dread the first quarter of the year. I don’t want to exist this way. I intend to find value in this period of winter reflection.

Here’s my plan to keep myself engaged and productive during this season:

Identify the Skills that Challenging Times Hone

Growth is always a bit painful. So maybe it’s a good thing that the year starts off difficult. It’s our conditioning for the new year — 2016 isn’t just going to just hand us a victory. We need to prove ourselves first. We need to earn it.

As I’ve thought this through I’ve recognized some skills that this season teaches; for me, it’s resilience, toughness and grit. These are hard skills to sharpen, but I need them just as much as any other professional tools. Identifying these valuable byproducts of my annual winter struggle makes my endeavors seem noble. I am not struggling aimlessly. There are lessons to be learned and skills to be garnered.

So identify what you are learning from your experience. Struggle is a truly magnificent teacher. You are the narrator of your own story. Instead of describing how it wears you down, alter your narrative and recognize how it builds your character. 

Integrate Exercise Into Your Work Day

Exercise really does make you feel better. I love to exercise, but the hard part is getting started. Once I’m moving, though, I’m surprised I ever balked. As soon as I start warming up my stress level drops and I start feeling happy and energized. Exercise always helps.

Don’t get fancy. Do what is easy and available to you. Sit on a yoga ball. Walk to the office or the train. Take the stairs. If your company has a wellness program see if there may be a lunchtime exercise class. This is a really important time for physical activity. It will make you feel vibrant and proud of yourself. Plus it’s really good for your immune system.       

Be Social

Recognize that this season sets the tone for the year. So don’t get stuck in your office or cubicle. Meet a former coworker for lunch. Enjoy a happy hour with your work friends. Grab coffee with a favorite colleague. Put yourself out there, because being social is energizing, and that is what you need right now.

Winter doesn’t have to bring us down. We can do anything we choose to with this season. This year, I suggest we fully embrace it and the opportunities it presents for self-assessment and growth.