When people talk to me about how stress free I’d feel if I were to take some time off, I cringe. Not because I’m a workaholic, but because the post-vacation crash I feel is so severe it takes weeks before I’m back up to my full momentum. While I love the idea of taking longer than two days off at a time, I need to work on making my daily life less hectic before being able to truly enjoy a holiday.
It’s become my mission to learn more about the inevitable post-trip crash we all encounter, and how to instead hang on to that stress free feeling for as long as possible. Here are 6 post-vacay strategies to add to your arsenal:
1. Pencil In a Few Days of Post-Travel Lounging
If there’s one thing I’ve learned after many post-vacation meltdowns, it’s that I need at least a few days of solid decompressing before getting back to the grind. I think one of the biggest reasons we feel blue once we're home is there are certain things about our lifestyle – both little things and big – that we semi-dread coming back to. During your first few days back, decide what you’re going to do about these things. Just the decision will make you feel a bajillion times better about being back home.
Use this time to follow Seth Godin’s advice: “Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life that you don’t need to escape from.” There are always little things you can do to make your life even better.
2. Unpack. Now.
You know, before the adrenaline wears off and your cat has a more productive day than you. Don’t allow your actual baggage to turn into emotional baggage.
3. Reminisce, Then Apply
Travelling opens your life up to new experiences, customs, foods and fashions – so when you walk back into your home it can feel kind of... plain. Keep that vibrant, stress free feeling going by applying the highlight reel from your trip to your everyday life: Recreate recipes you learned about, rock out on accessories inspired by the culture, and of course add some one-of-a-kind souvenirs to your home décor.
4. Go Easy on Yourself
Nothing kills your vacation buzz faster than expecting yourself to breeze right back into your daily routine without so much as a hiccup. Attempting to juice responsibly after a week of indulging 24/7 will make you feel deprived and uber-cranky. Cut yourself some slack by easing back into your diet and exercise routine day-by-day until you’re back up to par. Let your vacation self run the show for a while.
5. Get Back Into The Swing of Things, But…
We all thrive on routine, but admit it: There are parts of your routine that you feel need a little… tweaking. When you’re on vacation, no two days are the same – this gives you the opportunity to look at your life from a whole new perspective, making the kinks in your current routine more prominent. It’s the perfect time to consider your lifestyle a clean slate. Set aside feelings of obligation and ask yourself how you’d fill your plate differently. Then go to it.
6. Plan Mini-Vacations
Booking more “me time” will help alleviate future post-vacation crashes. Adding more stress free activities to your schedule doesn’t necessarily mean taking days off at a time. It means booking a manicure at your fave salon. Checking out a new movie you can’t wait to see. Grabbing a drink with a friend. Coffee in bed. Creating mini escapes throughout the week will keep your daily life as stress free as possible, while giving you the opportunity to bring the past part of vacationing home with you: Enjoying the details.
What are your stress free strategies for post-vacay?
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Image: Sarah Reid