Maintaining that holiday feel

After all that glorious sunshine and a long Easter weekend, going back to work on the Tuesday after may have brought you back to reality with a bump!

How is that you can go from relaxed and serene yesterday – to be hurled back into stress and overwhelm by an overflowing inbox and others’ demands in just one day?

Is it possible to find a way to transfer that holiday feeling and maintain calm in the midst of a busy day in the office?

About tanks

The thing about holidays is that fill up our “tanks”, our reserves of energy which give us that sense of grace and ease, so that even if someone is irritated with us we have a “buffer” of patience to hear and respond. If our tanks are filled, we can respond. If they aren’t, we react. It’s very simple.

Most people respond to a busy day by focusing on managing their time or the expectations of others and that has value. However if you have noticed that this isn’t enough, that you are depleted long before the working day has ended then maybe it’s time to fill your energy tanks.

We have three to four energy tanks. The physical, the emotional, the intellectual – and many relate to a spiritual tank as well.

When you are on holiday you might be swimming, eating plenty of salad or taking gentle walks after dinner (filling the physical tank), holding hands with your kids and laughing, connecting with your partner (emotional tank). You might be watching sunsets or enjoying the peace on the beach before everyone else joins you (spiritual tank). You might also be enjoying a good read on the plane or on the beach (intellectual tank). Notice how these tanks get filled without you thinking much about them. They are “holiday things you do”.

But what if you could get more conscious about this, and create a system by which every day you maintain some focus on getting your tanks filled so that you have the capacity you need, not just to be creative, productive and communicate well with everyone in your working day, but to also have the energy and quality attention to be able to enjoy your partner, kids or interests at the end of it?

Creating your tank filling system

Back in 2002 my first coach alerted me to the concept of filling my tanks and it changed my life. It’s so simple to create – and pays dividends in every area of your life.

Create four columns in your notebook and head them up Physical Tank, Emotional Tank, Intellectual Tank and Spiritual Tank and make a note of activities that could fill yours (perhaps reminding yourself of what you did on holiday to kickstart the process).


  • Physical – enough sleep, taking breaks away from your desk, a walk at lunchtime, walk in nature, stretching, exercise you enjoy, eating your five a day, staying hydrated.
  • Emotional – ringing a friend (not just texting). A hug, smiling at strangers, touch, dancing to your favourite music at home, alone time, and anything else that helps you feel connected to yourself and others
  • Intellectual – sufficient variety, challenge and newness of tasks at work, reading, podcasts, sudoku, crosswords or anything else that absorbs you and wakes up your brain
  • Spiritual – meditation, mindfulness, prayer or other spiritual practices, yoga, nature, tapping, reflecting on purpose

Then each day do as many as you can, ticking them off at the end of the day and observe.

How were your energy levels different? Did you experience less “headless chicken” and more grace and ease? Did you react less and respond in a more considered way with yourself, your workload and the people in your life?

Taking this further

Stress and overwhelm is a key factor why people come to us to change job or even change career.

Being aware of what is available to you to resolve the problem, before adding to the overwhelm by choosing to focus on finding a new job is a smart – and energy efficient – move. If you can resolve it, you will save yourself a whole lot of extra work.

To find out more, schedule a career review consultation with us to discuss what’s causing stress, anxiety and overwhelm for you and to explore the options open to you.