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January 08, 2015
Christmas recovery
By: Harriet McClean
Happy New Year all! I hope you’re not suffering January blues as badly as I am this year…

Taking my first long holiday of the working year over Christmas felt, quite frankly, odd. I had got so into the mind set of working that not getting up and going into the office and doing the BAU (Business as Usual) activities was alien. I had been working since September 1st and taken two days off for the Accenture ski trip (which I came back from more tired and my flat mate – Orlagh Fallon – wrote a brilliant blog on if you want to check it out) but otherwise I had been working solidly. And I guess this really surprised me – at school, I drag myself towards each half term and that’s just after six weeks of work and then Christmas seems a distant luxury in mid-November when the weather was a miserable as I was! But working is a whole different ball game.

Because, most of the time, your evenings and your weekends are your own. When you close your laptop at 18:00, work is (the vast majority of the time) over for me. The only other time I’ll open my laptop is to use it for a bit of Daily Mail later on in the evening…And then similarly, at the weekends, you don’t have any essays to be writing for your class next week, you don’t have articles to be reviewing, you don’t even have sports matches to be playing! And therefore, each weekend in itself turns into a little holiday for me and that’s the way I have managed to survive 4 months taking just 2 days off.

Christmas holidays for me started on December 19th and, as I now involve myself in the tragic workers chat, the bank holidays fell very favourably this year and so I only had to take 6 days off to enjoy 16 days of holiday (including weekends) – now you can’t argue with that! But stopping the routine felt weird – I was still waking up at a pretty ungodly hour and staying up until very late evening because my body was just so switched on to my old routine. But I tried really hard to break out of this because otherwise I’d get back in January as tired as I was when I had left. Living away from home meant that this year it was a seriously family orientated Christmas. Only four nights out with my home friends in over 2 weeks – even all the people who were back from uni – is sub-standard for us! But I did fall out of the routine pretty quickly, enjoyed being very lazy and abusing my family’s very full fridge which is a novelty to me since living by myself!

Now onto getting back into work… it’s been a struggle! I think anyone who says otherwise is lying to you! What I think you have to make sure though is that you busy yourself. It’s easy just to slowly slog through the jobs you have to do but make the most of the new year, new me mind set and start to do things differently, with a more proactive manner and enjoy the spare capacity you might have once you’ve slogged through all of the holidays emails. A surprising number of people I communicate with appear to have been working over the holidays and so my inbox had quickly piled up and it took a whole morning, and ate into my afternoon, just replying to them! But everyone is in the same boat, everyone misses the relaxation of the holidays, everyone is feeling glum about all the resolutions they have tried (and if they’re me have already failed) to stick to and so busy yourself is all that I can advise! I’ve done something every night of the week this week which just gets you through the days that little bit more easily. I’d say enjoy being back as well! Fresh start, you’re not stuck in the robotic cycle that you had got yourself into and so maybe you’ll have new ideas to improve and spruce up your work load! And just make sure you remember to enjoy being back – it’s going to make the whole experience more bearable!

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