Going back to work after the holidays can feel like a slap in the face. The Summer was free and easy breezy and now here you are facing the 9 – 5 mundane.Ugh!
BUT it doesn’t have to feel like that!
With a little preplanning you can and will minimise the post vacation blues.
Now I know the last thing you want to think about when you’re going on vacation is coming back home again. But planning ahead can make for a much smoother, happier transition back to real life. And maintain true work life balance.
Here are my top 9 tips for making that transition smoother
Schedule an adjustment day
Don’t go straight back to work the day after you come back from your holiday. You the old saying I need a holiday to recover from my holiday. Well it’s true. Holidays are a change in rhythm and throwing yourself straight into a different rhythm is shock to any system. I usually try to adopt my work sleeping rhythm a few days before the end of the hols and an adjustment day or two is great for that.
So give yourself a break in between the two and you will feel less burnt out that usual at the end of your first week back of normal life.
Make a clean slate to come back to
My memories of leaving for our childhood holidays are of my Mum rushing round cleaning the house on the day we were going on holiday. Now her time management may have been off but her theory was sound. Who wants to return from a holiday to a messy house. Who wants to return to work to a messy office or computer files. Before you take the break, clean up your space. Again it helps the transition to holiday rhythm and backf from it. Tidying my accounts,my digital folders, my office and reviewing my Quarter 1 and 2 goals and then cleaning my house are always the last thing I do before going on summer holiday. It makes it so much nicer to return to after the break.
Make a Game plan regarding emails
Hopefully, before you left for your vacation you turned on out-of-office replies on your work email. If you notified people what dates you wouldn’t be available, you won’t be returning to that much of a monstrosity of messages in your inbox.I always add an extra week on to my holiday return date to give me some time to catch up. It takes the pressure off. Now when you get back there are probably a mountain of emails that need catching up on. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you have to get everything done at once on the first day back. Take a deep breath and arrange the messages based on urgency, and give yourself a couple of days to get back up to speed. Give yourself a realistic timeline in regards to email catch-up. I often unsubscribe to mailing lists before the holiday to lighten the load as well
Ease into it gently
Either the day before returning to work or the morning of returning to work, take some time to plan out your day. Make a to-do list with everything you know you need to do and prioritize what needs to be done. And do this on your own so you are able to think and concentrate.
Bring your holiday to work
Bring a little piece of your holiday home with you and into the office. Wether its an item of jewellery, decor or clothing allow your holiday to integrate with your normal life. Something as simple as including food you enjoyed in your lunch desk or having a holiday dinner with Music that reminds you of the holiday or even getting some sun or reading your book at breaks instead of engaging in office blah blah will help you relax into your work week.
Don’t throw yourself into a hectic schedule
Minimise social engagements, meetings when you get back for the first few weeks. Or if you have to do intense social activities then plan some down time afterwards. On holiday we tend to have less intense social contact than in our everyday life which means we can get a sensory overload when we suddenly have to deal with so many people. Ease in gently to allow yourself not to be over stimulated.
Take breaks during the day
Going into full work-mode without any breaks is a recipe for a burnout. Don’t let guilt force you into believing that you have to work yourself into the ground because you were away.Be kind to you and work up to the high pace again. Give yourself 5 to 10 min breaks every 3 hours and step away from the compute/ people
Remember life doesn’t magically change after a holiday
Before your holiday you had hopes that your life may change after your holiday. Whilst on holiday you were optimistic about life when you got back. Your rhythm relaxes, you gain distance from the issues. Yet, when you arrive home, you see that nothing has really changed. Everything has remained the same. Which can be depressing and demotivating. The solution is to see that you have changed. You are recharged and have a fresh perspective to the issues you were facing before. Now might be the time to reach out for support from a friend, a colleague, you manager or even a life coach to help you keep that objectivity and make the changes you need to make to have less stress and better work/life balance.
Find time for your loved ones
When you were on holidays you enjoyed lots of free time with your loved ones but once life gets back to normal time is fleeting. But it doesn’t mean you have to stop having quality time with your loved ones. You just need to prioritise differently. Mr T and I schedule in memory days into our year calendar and date nights into our monthly calendar. It means that amidst the humdrum we make time to make special memories and enjoy quality time together.
How will you adjust to your normal everyday after the holidays?
Let me know in the comments below.
Have a great week