So, on a scale of 1 to I-never-want-this-to-end, how amazing was your long weekend? Not long enough? Join the club. If, like us, you’re back at work and wishing you were back at the beach or back in the bush (or just back in bed being waited on hand and foot by your children — we can dream right?), we’ve got a few coping strategies to help you make it through today.
Warning: the day after a long weekend may feel like the longest day of your life, so don’t go into it unprepared!
Otherwise known as the ‘Work? What Work Strategy’. This involves creating a holiday cocoon around yourself, so you don’t even realise you’re back in your cubicle. Try putting up pictures of your holiday destination around you, and maybe even a few props (for instance, if you spent your time at a game reserve, a stuffed lion chasing a stuffed zebra — get creative!). If you do it well enough, you’ll feel so relaxed that reading the 298 emails in your inbox will feel like a breeze.
Although this may annoy your fellow co-workers, you need to do whatever you can to survive today, so they’ll just have to suck it up. Every 10 minutes, say something like ‘Today is amazing!’, ‘I can do this’ or ‘There’s nowhere else I’d rather be’. If you say it enough, you may just start to believe it, or your boss may send you home to prevent everyone else from killing you — win-win.
The opposite of the previous coping mechanism, sometimes you just need to have a good moan and an all-day pity party so you can wake up feeling amazing tomorrow. Some suggestions to make the most of your woe-is-me day: wear all black, sigh heavily every 30 minutes, explain loudly to everyone why you are the most sad to be back at work today and inform those in hearing distance all the things you’d rather be doing than going through those 298 emails.
One way to turn today into a day like any other is to just pretend your holiday never happened. Forget that you got to sleep in for the last four days and stayed in your pyjamas the whole day yesterday. It was just a normal weekend, and today is just a normal Monday (even though it’s Tuesday — just go with it). This method will be particularly rewarding when Friday comes a whole day early. Yes!
This is a great way to survive the day if you have a serious, serious pile of work to get through. People are going to want to take it a little bit easier today, you’ll probably have about 10 people come to chat to you about their amazing holidays — but all you want to do is get through those 298 emails. Start by cultivating a look of true madness, and whenever anyone approaches, just mutter ‘so many emails, so many emails, they’re coming through the light fittings’. A knife may be taking it too far.
The clock method
Is the day stretching ahead of you like Mount Everest, enormous and insurmountable? Instead of treating the day like one huge obstacle, divide it into smaller, more manageable chunks punctuated by tea and lunch breaks. You don’t have to make it to the end of the day, just make it to 11am, and then you can reward yourself with a well-deserved cup of tea.
And if none of those strategies work for you, then just fake it with the power of coffee. You’re probably going to need at least 10 cups.