Anyone who knows me knows that I like to vacation hard. By that, I mean I enjoy taking vacations and when I do, I like to be as present as humanly possible for myself and my family. Our most recent vacation was spent in Spain, a country that prioritizes afternoon naps making it an excellent place to achieve maximum relaxation. I’ve never been much of a napper, so I maximized my jamon and wine intake each afternoon instead. So after 10 days of relaxing, eating, and uninterrupted time with the two people on this planet who fill me up most, how do I get back to the grind? I love my job but, being honest, not as much as I love jamon, wine, hiking, and beaches. When friends ask how I’m adjusting back, my answer is always “great!”
"Even if your vacation is an escape from somewhere, it doesn’t mean you can’t find inspiration in your surroundings."
Here are my 5 tips for beating the back from vacation blues:
1. Maximize your time gone by checking out
I used to find it difficult to disengage with my phone and email during vacation and that caused me to carry my work stress with me. Disconnecting can be intimidating this day and age. It stresses people out. But I have found after a day or two that you let go and are really able to be fully present, which leads to a much more relaxing experience.
2. Develop a routine
I’m a bit of a creature of habit. I have a very specific routine that helps me maximize my personal productivity and happiness. I’m not saying mine is the recipe for everyone, but it works for me. I start my day early with the gym and anchor my day with unplugged family time. By always starting and ending my day the same way, I am able to easily step back into the swing of things.
4. Prioritize self
One of the first things I do after a long flight is a workout. It helps me feel like me again after breathing stale air and eating airplane food. Exercise is a key part of my routine, and it makes me sharper. In addition to jumping back into my exercise regimen, I find it helpful to schedule a visit with my acupuncturist the first week back. This helps improve both my mental and physical state – the two of which are infinitely connected for me.
5. Plan the next one
One great strategy that Sara and I employ is we start to plan our next vacation on the flight home from our current vacation. This gives us something to look forward to in the not so distant future.
Most people agree, vacation life > regular life. But if you make the most out of your vacation and come back to things that keep you feeling your best, you should have no problem returning to reality.