If you’ve ever felt like you needed another vacation after you just got back from one, you won’t be the only one. The idea of going back to work if you’ve taken any time off to go traveling, whether it was a week or several months, can be hard to deal with, and it can even undo all the good work that was done in terms of helping you to relax more and worry less when you were away.
You can implement some excellent strategies to ensure that you are ready to return to work once you get home from your trip. Read on to find out what they are and see if you can use any of them to help you feel at least a little better about being back in the swing of things.
Don’t Go Back Right Away
Many people book their vacation days off work with an extra day at the start of the vacation time. This day is used to complete errands such as taking pets to wherever they are going to be staying, or cleaning the house so it’s not messy when you get back, or even packing if you’ve left it late.
What you should also do, if you possibly can, is to ensure you have booked at least one day (and ideally two) after you get back from your trip too. This will help you to settle back into things.
You’ll have time to unpack and unwind. You can pick up the pets again without rushing. You can get comfortable in your home before you even have to think about work. If you don’t have enough vacation days, try to organize your trip so that you get home on a Friday or Saturday. Assuming you work a Monday to Friday week, you can use the time at the weekend to prepare yourself for work again.
Prepare Before You Go
If for any reason you can’t arrange your vacation so that you have extra days at the end to ease yourself back into work, then you’ll need to put some plans into action before you leave. As mentioned above, cleaning the house is a good idea since it means you will come home to clean the property and not have to concern yourself with dusting or throwing out old food or using the vacuum cleaner. Change the bedclothes before you go too so that the sheets are new and fresh when you get back; it might even help you sleep better.
Then there’s the question of food. No one will want to go grocery shopping as soon as they get home from vacation, but you’re also not going to have any fresh ingredients in the house to make something tasty. One option is ordering takeout, but if you’ve spent a lot of money on vacation, this can be an expensive idea. In that case, why not carry out some money-saving meal prep before you head off on vacation? You can bulk cook a variety of dishes and freeze them, so all you have to do when you return is heat them up.
Plan Your First Day
Even if you have only been away from work for a short while, it can still feel somewhat daunting when it’s time to go back. You might worry you’ll forget the things you usually do or that everything is going to take much longer because you’re out of practice. This can lead to stress and anxiety, and soon you’ll be wishing you were still away.
To combat this, make a to-do list and plan out your first day back. Start with the time you want to get up in the morning and plan out every detail of your daily routine. It might take a little while to remember at first, but once it’s all written down, you’ll know that you are competent and capable, and you can head back to work without any issues at all.
Bring Some Of Your Vacation Back To The Office
You might want a little reminder of the time you just spent away. Even if it’s just something small like a postcard or little trinket, taking it with you into the office and putting it somewhere you can see it when you start to feel overwhelmed or anxious will be extremely helpful.
When you are feeling unhappy, or even if you’re just tired because it’s been a long time since you were at work and you’re not used to it anymore, reminiscing about a good time you had will make you feel better. If that good time is the vacation you just had, that’s even better. The memories will be fresh and exciting, and having a small souvenir around to help you access them when you need to is a great idea.
Don’t Ignore Your Colleagues
Just because you might not be in the right frame of mind to be around your colleagues, and just because you might not feel much like interacting with them as you settle back into everyday life again, that doesn’t mean you should. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Talking to your colleagues will help you feel more at ease and more like you are meant to be at work. It will also take your mind away from daydreaming about your vacation and help to focus you on the work you need to do.
Plus, during break times and when you want to make small talk, your colleagues will likely be interested in what you did while you were away. This means you can talk to them about your vacation and relive the memories while also getting used to being around the people you work with once more.
Going from a lovely, relaxed state of mind because you haven’t been doing a lot for a week or two straight back into full-on work mode isn’t a good idea. You will go from one extreme to the other without any break in between. You might do this due to the fear that you need to catch up with whatever you missed or because you feel guilty for going away and letting your colleagues do your work for a little while. You might even do it to save yourself any pain, much like when you rip a bandaid off quickly rather than bit by bit.
Although this works with a bandaid, it won’t work for someone who has just got back from a vacation. All it will do is cause you to burn out quickly and be unproductive. This is why it’s essential to take breaks and incorporate them into your daily routine. Just 10 or 15 minutes here and there should be enough to keep you more focused and stop you from feeling exhausted by the end of the day.
If the dread of returning to work is more than just the normal feeling that comes with returning from vacation, and you really can’t see any way that you can go back because you hate your job so much, change jobs.
This is, we know, far easier to say than to do, especially when there might be a shortage of jobs in your industry, but you should at least look into the possibility. We work for so much of our lives and it takes up such a large proportion of our day that we need to be happy with what we are doing. If not, we could develop depression, and our family lives will be disrupted too.
Perhaps your vacation has shown you that you need to change things in your life, and if your job is part of that, it’s time to start looking for something new to do.