Coming back from vacation can be a drag. Responsibility rears its ugly head, the calendar appointments show back up, and even your house looks a little off. But after settling back in, many of us get a new, refreshing ambition to resume our routine off on the right foot. I, having recently returned from vacation, have this fire and am terrified it will turn into a smoldered dirt patch by Tuesday. Hope is not lost! There are things you can do to help keep this energy and new perspective the whole year round.
- Keep your goals, but remember what you have already accomplished.
Before going on vacation I was micro-focused on my goals and reaching them. I was focused solely on the end result instead of the journey. Now back from vacation, I see so much to be thankful for and how far I’ve already come. Counting your blessings isn’t easy to remember in the day-to-day but simply be grateful for your how far you’ve come in life and career, your spouse, or home can be very gratifying.
- Do the things you did on vacation.
What did you do that you thoroughly enjoyed? Read, ride a bike, play in the water with your kids, explore new things? Each week at home, schedule time to do at least one thing that you enjoyed doing while on vacation. You can try a new restaurant, go to a local event, play your favorite sport on the weekend with your friends, or sit outside a read a book. Forget your to-do list every now and again and do the things you love – the ones that recharge you.
- Stop being a slave to the clock.
Or at least try. On vacation there are no deadlines, no schedules – unless that’s your thing. Even if it is your thing, you’ve made up the schedule, so you’re not a slave to someone else’s demands. Oddly enough it will take effort and discipline to throw out your schedule mentality, but getting lost in the evening or something you enjoy without tracking time can be so refreshing. Back at home, why not go outside without keeping track of time or let your Saturday plan itself? How nice is it to not have anywhere to be or worry about what time it is?
- Get away from the electronics.
There are times on vacation where you just don’t/can’t use your electronics. You aren’t checking email on a jet-ski or scrolling social media on the slopes. I realize you can, but who wants to? Try limiting your tech use at night or on the weekends. It isn’t about being anti-tech, it’s about being aware of your surroundings and what you’re doing. It’s amazing what you notice when you don’t have additional distractions.
- Make a list of your MUST do’s.
Chances are everything on your to-do list will not need to get done immediately upon your return. Take about 15 minutes before the new week starts and decide what’s most important and when these things will get done. All of the other stuff can be delegated on put on the list for another time. The goal is not to walk into the same sand pit you walked out of.
- Take something new to work.
Put something new in your cube or at your desk to freshen up your workspace. There comes a point where you don’t even see the things you have at your desk; your eye is used to them. Adding something new will catch your eye and your brain will associate pleasant feelings with it. For instance, I got this flower hairpin from Hawaii (not my vacation unfortunately) and put it on the lamp organizer at my desk at home. It’s a cheerful, small reminder of a pleasant place (although I’ve never been there, it reminds me of the beach). Even I have very few personal things at work, but just a new picture or planner can do the trick.
There are many other things you can do to ease back into your routine and try to correct some of the bad habits you’d fallen into before going on vacation. Find out what works for you, and do it! Vacation doesn’t have to mean getting away from it all. It can mean doing things with those you love and enjoying life. The best part is, you can do this every day.