Some play on while others return

LIAM HYSLOP AND JO MOIR
Last updated 05:00 07/01/2014
Scorching Bay
KEVIN STENT/Fairfax NZ

SUN SPLASH: Bill Robertson, visiting from London, throws his granddaughter Izabella Iverson into Scorching Bay yesterday.

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Wellington

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It would be a stretch to call yesterday's sunny spell a scorcher, but anything less than a storm in Wellington sparks a dash for the beach.

Despite many returning to work after the festive season, plenty of holidaymakers, students and children were still making the most of warm and gust-free weather at favourite coastal spots.

Scorching Bay was the biggest drawcard with people of all ages sunbathing and not a spare park to be found anywhere near the beach.

But going to work might not be too hard in the next few days - the forecast ahead isn't looking too peachy, with showers expected this afternoon and a northwesterly wind strengthening.

By tomorrow it is expected to switch to a southerly, bringing more rain, and temperatures plummet to about 16 degrees Celsius on Thursday.

The wet and cooler weather is expected to continue into next week.

And if you found work yesterday a struggle, you're not alone - the first day back to work after the festive season is the most depressing of the year, a study has found.

A British social media study analysed 2,205,298 British tweets in January over the past three years, highlighting negative language and phrases.

The Upbeat Barometer measured "sentiment and happiness", providing a daily score between 0 and 100 to deliver a "happiness index" of the nation's mood.

For all three years, the first Monday back at work consistently scored the lowest for the year - an average of 49 out of 100.

Mental Health Foundation chief executive Judi Clements says the back-to-work blues also happen in New Zealand, and people should ease their way back into work.

"Too many of us dive straight back into work, instead of gently easing ourselves back into the swing of things," she said.

"We feel sad that our holiday is over and don't take the time to adjust to different sleeping and eating patterns that often change over the holidays.

"When we do this, we quickly start to feel exhausted, stressed and depressed."

Back-to-work blues come in many forms, including feeling disoriented and having a go-slow attitude, losing motivation for work, or feeling resentful about having to return, she said.

On top of that, many people felt irritable, found themselves in a bad mood, or even suffered headaches or other physical symptoms of stress.

After-work activities, planning your next holiday and organising your work for the year could help ease the transition, she said.

One person not experiencing the blues was Jane Gilkison.

She returned to the Auckland corporate office world yesterday from several weeks holidaying in Wellington and Tauranga, and was relishing being back at work.

"Everyone is back and in a reasonably good mood, talking about what they did over the break."

She did find it hard to get back into her routine, with a 5am start.

"It took me about 30 seconds to realise I wasn't dreaming."

There was still a lot to look forward to in the summer evenings, she said. 

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- The Dominion Post

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