The Holiday Hangover


Few people like to return to work the day after a holiday; especially a 3-day weekend. It is like you almost got a chance to feel a bit of freedom from work, spending time with friends and family, eating and drinking well and not worrying about what is waiting for you when you step back into the office. Over the years working in an office environment I learned most people tend to experience the same symptoms in regard to their “holiday hangover”.


1) You are dreading the alarm going off in the morning – We have had the luxury of sleeping in or, if you have kids, at least not rushing out the house to get to work. When that alarm goes off the first thing in the morning, it’s like a reminder that life is back to normal and you have to get back up and going again.

2) Your to-do list is out of control – Let’s face it, the day before a holiday starts, everyone is coasting through the day and, quite honestly, not really getting a lot done. They are just pretending to be busy as their eyes are set on getting on a plane or a car to get to their holiday destination. Everything can wait until “”you get back”, until you actually get back and realize how much work you really have to do.

3) No one wants to be at work! This is pretty clear with everyone rolling in the next working day. Everyone is a little sluggish, minimizing eye contact because they don't want to talk to anyone, not particularly excited about asking the “so what did you do over the holiday?” at least five times that day.

4) Back to life… back to reality – You have spent your holiday in a glorious state wondering how great it would be to win the lottery and experience your holiday every day… Not happening! With your first work day slapping you right back into reality chances are you won’t be very happy about it and everyone will know, if they don’t feel it themselves.

5) It’s time to start your gym workout again too – When you have some time off, going to the gym is the last thing from your mind (except for those dedicated gym goers). The rest of us forget the gym exists until we get back to work and realize Zumba starts up again at 7pm. Back to the drawing board!

6) The countdown to your next vacation begins – If there’s any silver lining in having to come back to work, perhaps realizing that you have another vacation coming up gives you a glimmer of hope to experience the highs of being on a well-earned vacation and ending with a “why do I still work here” moment of clarity.


Many people experience the holiday hangover but there is also many who do not. Some of that experience can come from doing something they actually are passionate about and don’t mind putting in the extra hours or look forward to coming in after a long weekend. Regardless of how you feel, there is always a chance for change so if you would prefer a different way to look at your career, and perhaps your life, think about what keeps you there and what you actually would like to do instead. You may be surprised how easy the transition can be!

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