‘Holiday head’ and legal practice

Morning Alarm Clock HellFrom the London Evening Standard 22/04/14:

It starts with bewilderment. Then sadness sets in, followed by waves of fear. Sound familiar? I’m afraid you are suffering from a case of “holiday head”. After a gloriously long Easter weekend away from the office, returning can be quite a shock — even worse than the usual Monday misery.

Holiday head. Ah – that’s what it’s called then. Glad I’m not the only one.

A lawyer friend says: “All my holiday jollity and Zen ebb away as soon as I reach my desk.

What rot. A lawyer who professes to be full of jollity and Zen seems pretty unlikely to me. Zen! I ask you.

“There’s a general scary feeling of ‘What is this thing I do every day and how is it done?’”

That’s a normal feeling for a lot of lawyers in practice, I reckon. And yes, I speak from experience.

Another sufferer is so terrified of holiday head that she avoids taking time off altogether because it’s simpler than dealing with the big return. The break just isn’t worth that painful readjustment afterwards.

I’ve said that myself on several occasions, actually. Still, there comes a point when you’ve got to take a sensible pill; never taking annual leave isn’t really a viable solution.

These anxious workers are not alone. A recent study of 2,000 British employees found that 70 per cent need more than two weeks to recover from a post-holiday downer, with half the people saying they go through their photos endlessly to try to recapture some of that all-too-fleeting happiness.

Psychologist Emma Kenny recommends mentally going back to work the night before, in preparation. She says: “Think about what might come up and prioritise what is important. That helps you feel on the ball when you arrive and ready to work through your list. That will feel good because it gives a sense of achievement.”

No, I’ll feel stressed out and exhausted from having pitched myself into a series of panic attacks instead of getting a good night’s sleep. Keep your advice to yourself, please, Emma.

The article goes on to recommend good preparation to help shake off those ‘back to work blues’.

Then, when you have managed to wake up in time for the commute, dress for battle. [T]his is a day for a crisp white shirt to make you feel together and strong.

Really? Does wearing a white shirt make someone feel ‘together and strong’? What a load of baloney.


  1. Best way to beat the holiday blues... book your next holiday so you have something to look forward to!!


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