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Safety office offers tips on overcoming post-holiday blues

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- Have you ever wondered why it is so hard to get over the holidays and get back into work?

You seem to be more fatigued even though you just had several days of rest; you seem to have forgotten every single skill you ever learned in your Air Force career, and mainly you just can't seem to get into work. Is it just you, or does everyone feel this way? Rest assured this is a problem most of us experience; it's called "January Syndrome."

January Syndrome is that strange feeling we all encounter after the holiday break.
The main problem with the January Syndrome is that January becomes one of the least productive months for the Air Force. So, how do we counteract this syndrome and make January a more productive month?

The first thing to do is avoid holiday stress carry over.

Hopefully, you used your time off during the holidays to deal with any of the stresses you encountered over the year and to decompress and relax.

Financial problems are probably one of the main contributors to the January syndrome. Do not be surprised when the credit card bills come in. If you overspent during the holidays, make a payment plan, and use it.

The Airman and Family Readiness Center can help you look over your finances and develop a payment plan that meets your budget. Call the AFRC at 759-3162.
Excess fatigue and general ill feeling are other big problems. It's cold outside, and the days are much shorter this time of year. It's natural to want to sleep more. Chances are that most people also spent much of the break sleeping in, which makes it that much harder to get back into a work schedule. The thing to remember is you have a very important job to go back to. We are still fighting a war, and many of us will be deploying in the next Air and Space Expeditionary Force buckets.

Having said that, it is never a good idea to do a brain dump over the holidays and think you can start fresh when you go back to work. We are all still expected to come back to work and be proficient at our jobs in order for the mission to get accomplished.
The first couple of weeks back to work, review your checklists and technical orders. This will help keep your skills sharp, and avoid complacency and potential mishaps.

As the last tool you can use to break this syndrome, consider following through on your New Year's resolution ... start a physical fitness program. Establishing, or re-establishing, a physical fitness regime is one of best methods to keep the January Syndrome at bay.