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No one likes work.  Even those people who tell you they love what they do.  They hate to work more than the rest of us, they’ve just deluded themselves into believing that they don’t.  Those people also like boy bands, have tattoos of cartoon characters, respond to penis enlargement emails, and probably still drink wine coolers.  People especially hate returning to work after a holiday break or a vacation.  Now scientists believe jumping back in after a break is harmful to your health.  Dr. Lucy Rogers, a behavioral psychologist at the University of Washington Social and Behavioral Institute weighed in on the subject.

Work stress is like a spring.  It builds up over time, and the longer you take to release it, the more pressure you’re under.  This is why when people who have worked for three years straight, then attend the first happy hour end up completely smashed, call the boss something horrible, and either end up having sex in the alley behind a dumpster, or in jail, or both.  Releasing the pressure is necessary, and some wait far too long to do so.

guns-at-workBut what about returning to work after the break?  This is a critical time because when you jump back in with both feet, attending pointless meetings, fielding phone calls, picking up the work where you left off, it’s like cranking that spring right back to where it was.  Springs tend to snap when you put too much pressure on them all at once.  This is how workplace shootings happen.

We can’t stress enough how often we see workplace violence two weeks after a break.  The person returning from a vacation is dropped right back into the meat grinder and is expected to deal with all the nonsense that they avoided while on the beach or at the lake, or wherever they were.  That’s when the shooting starts.  – Rogers

The suggestion is that your return to work should start with a half-day schedule or quite a bit of socializing prior to actually working.  If you can keep the pressure from building back up rapidly, you can prevent yourself from snapping, and probably help others avoid snapping as well.  It makes for a much safer workplace to relax and ease into it.  Especially if you’re naturally high strung.

In this fast-paced society, it’s necessary to unwind.  It’s also necessary to wind back up slowly. – Rogers



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