Switching gears from vacation mode back to your day-to-day life is tricky. After a week or two of not being beholden to an alarm clock, having to hit the snooze early on your first Monday morning back feels exceptionally cruel. For that first day — and maybe even the first several days — you might be stuck in a vacation mindset despite having gone back to work. These tips should help you to get back on your grind more easily.
Schedule a buffer
If it’s possible, schedule a buffer day between when you return from your vacation and the day you go back to work. Lindsey Day of Magnetic Career Consulting writes for Forbes that a transitional day is ideal for carrying out necessary chores such as grocery shopping and laundry as well as recovering from any leftover jet lag. She also suggests cracking open your laptop to sort messages and delete junk mail, which should help you get back into the workplace mindset.
Take baby steps
Going full throttle after days away will quickly have you feeling overwhelmed and burnt out, which is counterintuitive to the entire purpose of taking a vacation. To combat the immediate need for a second vacation, Lori Manns of Quality Media Consultant Group writes for Forbes that it’s best to postpone challenging tasks or projects until you’ve had the chance to reacclimate yourself. You might need as much as a couple of weeks to get back up to full speed, so take it slow until you can get yourself there — but not so slow that your productivity lags noticeably.
Keep the good times rolling
Your smartphone likely holds a ton of pictures from your vacation, but after a few weeks at home, they can become easily forgotten. One way to make sure this doesn’t happen while helping brighten up your workspace is to print out those photos and display them. Whenever you glance at photos from your vacation, good vacation memories and vibes will invigorate your mood.
The Muse’s Kaitlyn Russell also recommends sharing snacks or treats you picked up on your trip with your officemates. Your coworkers are sure to welcome you back with open arms, and they’ll be even more grateful for your return if you bring them something good to eat.
Implement a vacation mindset
The primary objective of taking a vacation is self-care: You take the time away to recharge your batteries, alleviate stress and escape from your worries, even if just for a short time. Incito Executive and Leadership Development Founder Jenn Lofgren writes for Forbes that keeping the objective of self-care in your sights past the end of your vacation is key to ensuring that you keep yourself as a top priority and don’t burn yourself out before your next vacation. She recommends doing this by peppering activities into your schedule that will reinvigorate you, whether it’s a morning run or catching a matinee of that movie all your friends have been talking about. Even if you think you don’t have the time or are too busy to care for yourself, you should make time.
Have something to look forward to
Getting through the day is easier when you have something fun to do at the end of it. Russell suggests planning a get-together, happy hour or activity with your coworkers outside working hours to get you through the day. The prospect of something exciting and social will help make the hours of work slip away faster, and it helps you forge stronger bonds with your coworkers.
Don’t let the joy and relaxation you felt on vacation disappear completely when you return to work. Take care of yourself every day, remember the good times you had and plan for more fun times ahead, and you’ll have no problem readjusting to your everyday life after a blissful week or two away.
This article is presented by Gossett Volkswagen.