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Photo by Ilya Orehov on Unsplash

We are in the midst of the holiday season with festivities all around. Each of us may have some type of tradition, varying depending on beliefs and the people around us. For me, highlights include decorating the tree with ornaments from our travels. For my kids, it’s re-building the same holiday Lego kits of a miniature gingerbread village and a Santa snow globe. Having grown up with a British mother, it’s also the tradition of pulling festive crackers on Christmas Day.

Yet along with these highlights, the holidays are also fraught. It’s a time of great anticipation and high expectations. We eat a lot and sleep a little leading to our bodies feeling run down. We spend time with extended family that we don’t often see or necessary agree with. There is the social media angst of seeing identically pajama-clad families enjoying their holiday bounty. And there’s the loneliness. What if you have moments of isolation despite the cheer around you? What if you don’t have friends or family physically surrounding you?

Emotions will run to extremes in the holidays, from the highest highs to the lowest lows. Both are normal and part of experiencing an extraordinary day.

The holidays are special because of their emotional peaks and valleys as compared to an ordinary day. We remember these days the most because they are out of the ordinary. There is joy as well as the capacity for deep sorrow. It’s about the emotional range to experience the highs and the lows of a special day. That’s living. That’s the beauty of experiencing a day that’s out of the ordinary.

And what about the return to normalcy on the days after? We can embrace it because there’s something comforting and joyous about routine. There’s something wonderful about getting back to a schedule and getting regular sleep. There’s something wonderful about eating normal meals. There’s also something wonderful about getting back into a regular work routine—you catch up with colleagues, escape the frenzy of the house & socializing, and perhaps, it also feels good to start working again.

Transitions are hard. Yet as humans, we are hard-wired to be OK with change. After some days or weeks, we hardly remember the former state. Consider how to best transition back to a state of normalcy.

  • Recognize that your first couple of days back to work are a transition. You may not be used to getting up so early, or wading through 100s of emails. Be kind to yourself.
  • Schedule something fun for your first day back in the office. Perhaps a catch up lunch with your office BFF or 30 minutes to read through industry news.
  • Remember the best parts of the holidays. Savor your highlights and talk about what activities you’d like to turn into traditions.
  • Consider gratitude for the routine. It’s only against this backdrop of normalcy do the extraordinary days truly stand out.


Hello! I’m your host, Tutti Taygerly. I’ve spent 20+ years in product design & technology, leading teams at startups, design agencies, and large tech companies. I left Facebook in summer 2019 to focus on leadership coaching full-time. I write weekly about topics related to design & coaching.

I grew up in seven countries on three continents and am settled in San Francisco as my home base. I spend my time parenting two adventurous girls, obsessively reading, and paddling out for the next wave.

If you’re curious about coaching and how it could unblock your life, learn more about what I do.

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Leadership coach & champion of difficult people; designer of human experiences; ex-Facebook; surfer, traveller, mom;

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