Banish the Back-to-School Blues!

Now that we’re all back to school, how do we keep alive the energy, ideas and inspiration we had during our time off? It isn’t uncommon to feel inspired by taking some time away from work and the day-to-day pressures of life. With time and space to breathe and to think our brain starts to get creative again; we start to realise what is important to us and we notice what brings us joy, and what doesn’t. We often take time to be outdoors, we move in different ways (more walking perhaps, even if it’s not intentional), and fuel our bodies and our brains better. We make meaningful connections, be that with family, friends or ourselves and we seem to find more time to be mindful. Less television, more books anyone?

The trick is to hold onto those good feelings and inspirations when we’re back in ‘real life’. Here are three short steps you can take to help with some of that.

Keep that holiday glow going…

1) Lean into what being on holiday felt like – take some time to think about what made it feel good. How can you recreate that now you’re back? At QtH HQ, we noticed that some of those key things that we make time for whilst we’re out of the office are moving, being outdoors and being by the sea – therefore since being back at work we’ve been making time to go for a run outside, do yoga more regularly and making plans to visit the coast. Perhaps it’s having the time to read, connect more with your children or having time alone that works for you. Identify what it is that makes you feel good and then figure out what you can do to make that a feature of your everyday life. 

2) ​Write down all the inspiration you have while you’re away (preferably in the moment, but if not make time to do it as soon as you can on your return). We often allow ourselves to dream while we’re away, and those dreams rapidly seem silly or disappear when we’re back at our desks. Write down your dreams and ideas, no matter how big or small, how outrageous or sensible. Once you’ve captured them ask yourself:

  • What has changed to make your ideas and plans feel impossible when they seemed feasible while you were on holiday?
  • Is your inner critic getting in the way? Is it really sense talking, or are your fears talking you out of taking action?
  • What baby steps can you take to move forward on your bigger plans and ideas?​
  • ​What three small things could you do this week that will help you explore or realise the dreams? 
Making plans to inspire…

​3) Finally, think about what you can do to shake up the day-to-day routine. Part of the joy of taking time out is the novelty of doing something different – what small thing can you do to shake up your routine? Can you change your route into work? Decide to communicate only by voice for one day (no email, only phone or face-to-face)? Take a lunch break outside (or at all)? Take a picnic to the park after school with the children? Do something different with friends or on your own. Try Obby for ideas for new things to try near you.

If you find doing this exercise is useful, but you’d benefit from more focus, or some support to help you plan your next steps, you might like to take one of the remaining spaces on our Amazing Women Leaders Peer Mentoring Programme starting in November. See more Find out more.

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