We’ve all been there, holidays are over and you board the train to work. A sense of communal dread makes it feel less like a carriage and more like a boat en route to the shores of Normandy. You then sit at your desk in bemused silence, counting down the minutes until you can leave, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

Check Your Work Clothes Fit 

Odds are you have probably lost the battle against the holiday-ham and daily frothies. So not only are you irritated that you are back at work, but you look like 100kgs of potatoes in a 50kg sack.

A quick shop the days preceding your return can help alleviate this pain until you can take up that gym membership you keep promising yourself.

Roll to work like a boss

The roads and public transport system are a dream. It’s so quiet and kid free you’d think you’d wandered into a rock spider’s wake.

For a few days you can enjoy rocking up to work without a murderous sense of rage after battling the mouth breather convention on the Freeway. Enjoy, for soon, it will be different. 

Anticipate the Ghost Town

If you return to work on the 4th of January be prepared to see your beloved city revert back to how it was in 1975. There are about 3 cafes open and the eerie silence of the streets makes you feel like you’ve woken up in the middle of dental awareness week in London.

So maybe bring some lunch with you, or one day, be forced to tell your children of the time you walked 4km in the blistering heat for a BLT roll.

Don’t Hate, Delegate

Your email inbox is probably looking like a giant pile of manure, so heap as much of that shit as possible onto the junior staff and anyone still enjoying their holiday break.

Not only will this lower your own sense of panic but you should find a perverse pleasure in knowing that when Mr “I’ll be back on the 11th” finally rocks up, he will be reaching for the defibrillator.

Clean Toilets

Most of the year you’re stuck wondering how a professional environment can foster a toilet culture that would make the most seasoned abattoir worker feel sick. Luckily for you, most of these ablution war criminals are still on break. Enjoy your own bleachy fortress of solitude while you can because before long they’ll look like a solitary confinement cell after prison curry night. 

When the Cats Away

Odds are your boss has taken the entire of January off. So you can either sit in a stew of discontent and marinade yourself with jealousy, or you can use this period of serenity to your advantage.

Treat yourself to a few extra long lunches, enjoy the lack of pointless schlong-swinging meetings and leave earlier than a baker’s morning slash.