How to Bounce Back from Vacation
When you get back from a fun vacation, it’s hard to just drop everything and go back to your daily life without feeling a little down. However, you can use your trip as motivation to get back into a productive routine that you enjoy. Here’s how to return to daily life and keep your travel buzz going.
But the rigors of re-entry didn't end there. There was unpacking, and laundry, and an empty refrigerator, and their son's baseball schedule to attend to. After crossing three time zones their sleep cycle was a little off, too.
Adjust your sleep schedule ahead of time.
Many travelers experience jet lag after traveling, especially if the trip crossed one or more time zones. lag can affect your ability to sleep on a normal schedule, and that lack of sleep quality and/or quantity could contribute to feeling disoriented and depressed that your vacation is over.
Get yourself re-acclimated to your home time zone by getting up and going to bed several hours earlier or later (depending on which way you're traveling) for several days before you plan on returning.
Try to stick to your usual sleep schedule from home while on vacation, if at all possible. Staying on schedule can help make the transition back to your normal life a little easier.
Avoid all alcohol and caffeine for at least three to four hours before you plan on going to bed.
Exercise while you're on vacation.
Having and maintaining a workout routine while you're on the road will keep you in shape and decrease stress levels. Even light exercise can increase endorphins, leading to better mood, higher productivity and more restful sleep.
Exercising while you travel may seem daunting, but with a little planning it can be very easy to accommodate.
Pack a pair of athletic shoes and some workout clothes, or put on your swimsuit and swim laps in the pool.
Schedule your return trip with a few days to acclimate.
The hardest thing to adjust to when coming back from a trip is returning to your normal work/school schedule. However, if you give yourself a day or two to acclimate back to your normal routine, you can make that transition much easier.
Even if you haven't crossed any time zones, it can be difficult to adjust to your day-to-day routine after the fun and spontaneity of a vacation.
If at all possible, try to return to work on a Tuesday. That way you'll skip the hectic nature of a Monday workday and you'll only have a four-day week to return to.
If you plan on resuming work on a Tuesday, make sure you return home on Saturday or Sunday at the latest.
Know what to expect when you return.
For many people, part of the discomfort of returning to work is the stress that comes back after being away. However, one way to cut down on that stress when you return is to contact a coworker a day or two before you'll be returning to work. Your colleague can fill you in on any changes and let you know about anything you might have missed, which can make the transition back into your workplace a little less stressful than coming in blind to those issues.
While it's good to keep in contact with coworkers, you also shouldn't be worrying about what's happening at work the whole time you're on vacation.
Try to avoid contacting your coworker(s) until just before you leave to return home. That way you'll be able to enjoy your time away while still getting a quick update to start planning for.
Return to Normal Routines
Depending on how long you were away, jumping back into your sleep, exercise, and work routines won’t be easy. When planning your trip, book an extra day at the end so you can recover and prepare yourself for the adjustment period you’ll have upon returning. For example, employ these tips to fight jet lag and get back to your sleep routine faster by gearing them towards your home rather than destination:
You’ll also probably want to get back into other health-related habits like working out or eating right (that is, if you didn’t stick to your diet while on vacation ). Set yourself up for success by planning your first week back as a reboot week for your fitness and other routines. Make a list of what you want to complete and focus on getting through that list—it’ll help you work up to where you were before your trip.
Having another vacation on the horizon, even if it won't be for quite a long time, can help you adjust to being back at work/school. It can be psychologically upsetting to be back in your old routine, but knowing that something just as fun is in your future will brighten up your day and give you something to look forward to.
If possible, schedule your vacation time immediately. Just the act of putting time aside for vacation next time is an act affirming that you will have vacation time again.
Any time you find yourself feeling down, think about fun things you'd like to do on your next trip. You can even begin researching the things you'd like to see and do in your free time (but don't do this at work or you may get in trouble).