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That Monday Dread

… or post-holiday dread… you could call it either way.

People are anxious, with a bitter taste, when returning to work after a few days off.

And I’m not talking about a little holiday or weekend blue; no, it’s more than that. Some even have physical stress-related symptoms similar to those when facing a clear danger.

Why does this happen? Are there any remedies to this situation? And how can we overcome this “holiday blue”?

Let’s do a little exercise:

Imagine it’s evening; the following day, you are about to go on a long-awaited mountain trip. The weather is just how you pictured it so many times in your mind, the air warm and welcoming, so you put yourself to sleep and wake up ready to action in the morning.

You don’t go to sleep dreading the next day; you don’t wake up tired as usual. You sleep like a baby in the anticipation of your dream trip.

You have a pleasant moment to think about. Not only that, you feel you have a purpose. This is what many of the employees lack when going to work, so this is one of the causes of those office anxiety states.

For many of us, going to work equals getting a paycheck and returning home. When there is no other motivation for performing a job or purpose for getting involved beyond the basic level, people don’t find themselves in a state of joy at work.

Too often, the managers blame the employees for not being more involved in their tasks, mentioning this at the annual performance review. They don’t understand that when they point this out to the employee, they recognise their inability to lead people.

A true leader should find ways to motivate and make his people work for the same purpose; having that intrinsic motivation means that when we have that purpose, we don’t work only for material gain. And, because we feel in our hearts that way, we’re somehow enlightened together.

This is the way to overcome “holiday blue”, yet so many of us find ourselves in the same situation of dreading Mondays or the end of the holiday. We realised we had lost that freedom we enjoyed during that time away, and we entered again into the rat race.

For this to change, managers should first change their approach to work. They must leave their stories about lazy and unproductive employees behind and open their minds and hearts to what people need: somebody to care about them, somebody to trust and, finally, somebody to give them purpose.




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