September: the enemy of vacation

You’ve already noticed: September is here and the vacations from July and August are over.  The cities are once again filled with cars, noise, and offices full of dreary and nostalgic people. These people are full of ambivalent feelings, and during this month, they tend to complain and focus on their negative emotions more than usual. They grumble in front of their computers while reminiscing over their summer adventures.

Maybe you’re one of the few who books the bulk of your vacations specifically for September. However, it’s most likely that you’re one of those people who tends to stay things like “the good is over”, “time to take on a new course of action”, “that’s it until next year”, and other phrases like this.   

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The transitions are never easy, especially when you are returning to a job that you don’t love or that doesn’t satisfy you.  However, we would like to give you some clues as to how to bring a better, positive attitude to your life for these next few weeks of September.  

Return to the present. Unless the situation is really serious, be grateful for your lifestyle and let go of the past. The holidays were a good time, but they are now a part of the past.  It’s good to acknowledge how wonderful your vacations were, but be aware of your present so that the good times aren’t occupying all of your headspace and emotions.  Focus your energy on what’s in front of you, and remember that just like the summer months, September will also pass.

Avoid exaggeration. Being on a beach, visiting a new country, or living life at a slower pace is certainly more enjoyable than keeping up with busy schedules and obligations.  But think about it for a moment – sometimes the holidays aren’t as perfect as described and sometimes the return to work isn’t as arduous as it seems. At work, you may find yourself yearning for the days of disconnection and relaxation, but perhaps in those tranquil environments, you may find yourself actually missing the structure and satisfaction that comes from your work-related responsibilities. It’s another point of view to consider.  

Take it easy.  Returning to our projects and trying to complete them after two, three, or even more weeks of being away is not done overnight.  Prioritize, and avoid being over-ambitious on the first day back.  

Incorporate what you learned.  Holidays tend to be periods of reflection, new ideas, and the rediscovery of things, actions, and people. Perhaps you found new activities or relationships that you love or contribute to your well-being. Just because you are returning to work doesn’t mean you have to forget these important things. They may be harder to maintain, but it is important that we continue to devote time to relationships, indulge in small moments of whim or enjoyment, and make time for leisure.  

This month does not have to be the post-vacation depression month.  However, if you notice that September is becoming more intense than expected, it’s imperative that you take your self-care to the next level.  Remember that a psychologist can help you explore what feels dissonant in your life and help you clarify if what you’re experiencing goes beyond post-vacation depression.  

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