5 Tips to Avoid Vacation Reentry Stress

After recently returning home from a week long vacation with my family I found myself excited to get back to work but also totally overwhelmed picking up my to do list.  Vacations are a great way to recharge your battery but can add stress upon reentry into adulting.  Here are five tried and true tips to avoid vacation reentry stress.  



1. Give yourself a minute- or better yet, a day:


I love returning home from a vacation a day ahead of having to get back into real life.  This gives me some time to start tackling the dreaded pile of laundry, unpack the suitcases and breathe for just a minute.  


If your first day back includes stressful meetings, you may find yourself falling behind and getting overwhelmed. Don’t take any meetings the first day you return to work. Instead, ease yourself back into work. The only meeting you should be booking is with yourself. Block off the first morning or, better yet, the entire first day if you can. Take the time by yourself to catch up on emails and voicemail messages. Respond when you need to.


Get clear and current. What did you miss while you were away? The world may not have stopped, but that doesn’t mean you have to fall behind. Check in with your colleagues to catch up on everything you missed during your time off.


If you take this time to transition, you won’t experience as much stress while you get back into your routine. You’ll be more efficient and effective with the work you get done.




2. Make Use of Travel Time


Depending on how far you’re traveling, you may end up spending a significant amount of time transporting from your destination to back home. Why not make the most of this time? If someone else is driving or if you’re flying, you can take this time to get ready for the week ahead. Organize yourself by reviewing your task and calendar. This will help you mentally get back in the game. Take your time to get caught up on emails and send responses if you can.


If you’re driving yourself back home, you might want to consider returning home with a few hours to spare. This way you can still take the time to catch up on emails and mentally prepare for the upcoming week. While you’re driving, mentally transition back into work mode. Think ahead about what you need to accomplish and how you can be the most effective in completing those tasks.




3. Reflect on Your Work


Getting away from your usual routine and environment is the perfect opportunity to reflect on your work. New ideas and insights are most likely to hit you while you’re away from your normal routine.


While your brain is still fresh, take time to evaluate. Be honest about your work. Think about changes you can make and areas that need improvement.




4. Slowly and Steadily Get Back into Your Work Routine


In the coming week, give yourself grace as you ease your way back into your regular work routine. Don’t schedule any especially challenging work for yourself in the first two or three days after returning home. Remember that the world didn’t collapse while you were away. You’ll catch up on everything you missed, but it might just take a little time.


Even though you’re back at work, there’s no need to completely forget your vacation. Get together with friends to talk about your trip and share your vacation photos.




5. Tackle the House as a Team- before and after the vacation


When you arrive home, put the whole family to work. If you have kids that can help with the chores, let them. You and your spouse can work on different tasks simultaneously. If you think ahead, there might even be some things that you can get done before you leave. For instance, you might be able to order groceries online before you leave for vacation and get them delivered the night get home. That’s one task you won’t have to worry about when you return!


Get creative. Sometimes setting a timer to see how quickly you can accomplish a task will help you work fast. If everyone pitches in, the work will be done in no time. Many hands make light work!


Don’t let the stress of reentering your home prevent you from relaxing while you’re away. If you follow this strategy, you’ll experience an easy transition back into your routine. Don’t feel guilty about taking a break. It will boost your productivity and your mental health. With that in mind, go enjoy your vacation!

Krista Numbers

Krista is the founder of Simplify Supper. She is passionate about making family dinner a priority and strives to provide simple solutions to make it happen.

Feb 02, 2014
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