Top image: Stephanie Lee / RICE File Photo
Take us back to December. No, not the Taylor Swift song. We mean the days between Christmas and New Year’s when nothing gets done, the air is filled with indolence, clients aren’t responding, and the priority is R&R.
With the first workweek of the year done and dusted, we can’t help but sigh at the thought of doing it all over again. About 50 more times.
We ask our readers about that all too short-lived vacation mood and the inevitable blues that follow.
“I spent my December holidays finally attacking some items on my New Year’s resolutions list. As long as it’s before the year ends, it counts, right? I baked a pie, read a book, and went for a few pilates classes. And for once, I didn’t feel guilty for spending time on myself. I will miss not having the constant pressure of deadlines over my head for sure.
Now that I’m back at work, I’m glad I took the time to decompress and refocus myself before the new year. You’re always going to feel stressed at work. It’s never going to go away. But I feel better equipped to cope with everything.”
— Danica, 32
“The post-holiday blues really hit me hard… I’ve been looking at my Instagram posts from my Seoul trip. I even caught myself thinking yesterday, ‘Wow, this time last week, I was still in Korea.’
The only thing that makes me feel less empty is thinking about booking my next holiday. But then I’m already dreading the post-holiday blues I’ll feel after that next trip.”
— Jiaying, 30
“I spent my short December break in Malaysia with family. I’d been so caught up with work, friends, and everything else here in Singapore that I hadn’t seen my relatives in so long.
I’d expected it to be a chill time—just plenty of catching up with everyone and stuffing my face. And it was great, but I was already mourning the end of the trip before I even got back to Singapore. It wasn’t just having to get back to real life and all the responsibilities and obligations. It was also knowing that I’d be further away from family.
On one of my last few nights there, my aunt, cousins, and brother whipped up a feast together. I had a great time and really enjoyed the home-cooked food. But I remember feeling rather melancholic at the same time. Besides missing my uncles, who’d passed away earlier this year, I also really miss the feeling of everyone crowding into one house, the bustling kitchen, and the kids bickering. I’d love to get together more often, but we’re all in different cities and busy with our own lives.”
— Kimberly, 29
“I went on a 10-day road trip in Hokkaido with my army mates. We explored the lesser-known parts of Hokkaido, hiked up roads less travelled, got our onsen fix and satisfied our sashimi cravings.
The one thing I miss most is spending time with the guys—doing stupid shit together, exploring the unknown together, and living together. We even made it a point to book accommodations that let us all stay together to recreate that bunk life that we all miss and found so enjoyable in NS.
It sucked that the trip had to end, but the prospect of seeing my partner again after 10 days apart quickly quashed any post-holiday depression that arose. One of my friends also vlogged the whole trip and put an hour-long video together, so we’ve all been rewatching it whenever the post-holiday blues strike.
As for returning to work, I’m lucky enough to enjoy what I do, and I’m excited to dive back into work to make money to fund the next great adventure.”
— Shane, 29
“Unlike half the country, I didn’t have any travel plans in December.
All I did for a week was stay home and catch up on true crime documentaries. I just wanted to be able to switch my brain off for a while. It probably did more to recharge my batteries than planning a whole ass overseas trip, booking things, and finding activities to do.
Now I’m back in the office with my colleagues, and we’re all equally depressed, so I think I made the right choice.”
— Joey, 26
“I think I just miss the atmosphere of being in limbo in December. Nobody says it out loud, but you can feel that everyone’s slowly not caring so much about work anymore—and nobody’s expecting you to put in 100 percent too. That air of comfortable ease in the office at the end of the year was so… freeing.
It’s that magic of being unencumbered by responsibilities. You can just focus on yourself and have some space to personally reflect back on what you went through that year and how you might want to change things up in the next one. I, for one, can’t wait for December to arrive again.”
— Asher, 34