Coping with the post-holiday blues

Coming back to work from holiday last week, I was struck by the number of articles relating to returning to work and not suffering from post-holiday depression in the process. According to the Herald (so it must be true!) an awful lot of us do not take our full leave entitlement each year because we feel too busy. I personally think this is a recipe for disaster. The leave we need to take is for a purpose. It allows us to recharge the batteries both mentally and physically. Further, it gives us reflection time…time to reflect on what worked well for us in the past year, what didn’t and what we can do about it. This goes for both our professional and our personal lives. Getting the right work/life balance is critical for our home and work lives.

I always use the luxury of these unplanned and largely unstructured days before the rush starts to think about my goals for the next year and what I am going to do to achieve them (although looking at Emergency Care the rush hasn’t gone away for some, sadly!). Like you probably do, I have goals like losing weight (more on that in an upcoming blog), eating healthier food, exercising more and spending more quality time with my family and friends. But I also reflect on what I want to achieve professionally – and if you do not take this time, you are not doing yourself or your family justice. Work/life balance is more than just a glib saying and I urge all Counties people to enjoy their full leave entitlements.

As recommended in the aforementioned Herald, I think about my next holiday, highly recommended on returning to work as a ‘blues buster’. I also schedule quality family time in the long summer evenings and enjoy the relaxation that these warm nights can give. A short walk or a good book or even just sitting outside watching the sun set does wonders to lift spirits. So, welcome back to work and know that the post-holiday blues will pass!

Best wishes,



Author: Geraint Martin

Geraint Martin was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Counties Manukau DHB in December 2006. It is one of the largest District Health Boards in New Zealand and services a population of half a million. He has significant experience over 30 years in national policy & in managing both primary and secondary care . Previously, he was Director of Health and Social Care Strategy at the Welsh Government .He authored a radical 10 year strategy of reform, including the successful “Saving 1000 lives” Campaign.Until 2004, he was CEO at Kettering General Hospital & had held senior positions in London & Birmingham.He has worked closely with clinicians in improving clinical standards,patient safety,chronic disease management & managing acute care to reduce hospital demand.In NZ, He has promoted clinical quality and leadership as central to improving patientcare. This has led to a significant increases in productivity and access, whilst maintaining financial balance. CMH has completed in 2014 a $500 m capital redevelopment programme, the largest in New Zealand. A central part of this is the establishment of Ko Awatea,the Centre for Innovation and Research which will underpin CMH as one of the the leading health systems in Australasia.In 2008, he chaired the Ministerial Review of Emergency Care in New Zealand, and in 2013 was an member of the Expert Advisory Panel on Health Sector Performance. Geraint has an MSc in Health Policy from Birmingham University .His post-graduate work has focused on health economics and Corporate Strategy . He is adjunct Professor of Healthcare Management at AUT and Victoria University, Wellington Elected in 2006 as a Companion of the Institute of Healthcare Management, previously he was an Associate Fellow at Birmingham University.He is is Chair of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, a member of the Institute of Directors, on the Board of the NZ Institute of Health Management & previously the Board of The NZ Health Quality and Safety Commission.

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