My world… I love my life!
I love everything about it, even the not so awesome parts because they keep me challenged and motivated. However this time, coming back from a great trip with my girls, I felt totally sunk and like I had the “blues”. It’s not who I am!!! I sat down and looked at my “situation” and realized a few things…
- Before leaving I was (and am) immersed in some very exciting projects, so much so I flunked my March post! My coaching is branching out and is helping more people every day. I’m working on the cutting edge, helping businesses immeasurably with culture, engagement and employee retention; integrating the next generation leaders into their success (This alone will be a whole other article to follow).
- I have had incredible momentum and as I preach, I practice. This meaning, what I do I do 100%: I prioritize and try to not compromise. I dedicate time to work, family, friends, etc in a way that allows me to do each part well not feeling torn with “I should”, because it all has its place. The “should-haves, could- haves” does nothing but adding guilt, it slows your productivity and is damaging to your well being and mindset. Prioritize and make sure you are ok with your decision and then dive in!
So going on vacation with my girls meant exactly that, quality time with them, enjoying every moment of our time together and with friends. Creating our own special adventure and memory.
But honestly… 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, I realize that 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.
Get Back Into the Swing of Things
Depending on how long you were away, jumping back into your sleep, exercise, and work routines isn’t always easy. When planning your trip, if possible, 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 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.
Connecting again with friends is also important to easing back into your daily life. Go beyond checking social media to see what they were up to while you were gone and make plans to see them face to face. You’ll get the chance to relive your trip through sharing with them and also make your transition back easier by engaging with those close to you.
When it comes to your work routine, you can help yourself by taking some proactive measures before taking off. Cut down on the emails you’ll need to sift through, shift the responsibility to others to follow up . Make it clear in your out-of-office message that they should follow up with you when you’re back in the office on X date. Since they’re the ones who need something from you, it reminds them to come see you when you’re back instead of waiting for you to get to an email that could be weeks old.
You’ll probably have a mountain of email, messages, and meetings the day you get back, and it can be tempting to just jump in and try to do it all at once (or worse, just ignore it all). Set aside portion of your first day back just for prioritizing everything (or, if you’re feeling particularly anxious, do it the night before or on your plane ride home so you can hit the ground running).
Get the momentum ball rolling by picking one thing (even if it is a smaller task) that you know you can finish that day and focus your energy on it. You’ll feel accomplished and like you’re already back to your work routine since you’re getting things done. Remember the difference between urgent and important:
You don’t want to waste too much time preparing to work without working at all, but a little preparation can make that first day back much easier.
Remind Yourself of Your Trip and Plan for the Next One
Just because you’re back home doesn’t mean you should just forget about your trip. Reminisce over your vacation by displaying photos from it. Print out photos and put them up in your home and office. Set your photos as backgrounds on your phone, computer, tablet, or social media profiles. While you’re traveling, buy souvenirs that you’ll use in daily life-things like spices or utensils for cooking, art that you’ll display where you’ll see it, or clothing you’ll actually wear: My daughters were great at choosing a few things that they are integrating in their daily life and it serves a reminder of our fun time .
You can also continue habits you took on during your trip. Often the freedom of travel encourages you to try new things. If you tried something new, like learning to surf or meditate, keep it going once you get home. You can also apply this to cultural experiences. If you learned how to make something delicious, try to replicate it at home. If you learned about philosophies on your trip that you like, put those into practice in your daily life.
You can also stay off the post-trip blues by planning your next adventure! While going on several big trips each year isn’t feasible for most of us, even planning next year’s trip (or a smaller, closer trip ) can help. Focusing on just your next destination – rather than your entire bucket list – gives you motivation to start saving while gathering specific details for a certain locale. This will also trigger your “dive into work mode” as a motivator to be able to pay for your next adventure!
Finally, you can fight the post-trip blues by exploring your own community, opening your eyes to the discoveries you can make in your own backyard. There are so many events and activities right around us to be enjoyed, to be a tourist in our own area and surrounding towns – it’s amazing how much fun can be had if we think “more simple”. For me, having children has helped me immensely in appreciating the “smaller” joys in life; that a trip to the local beach with shovels, buckets and a picnic is enough to stay entertained for a long time (add a good book to that!), it doesn’t have to be the Riviera… Spontaneous gatherings, small road trips; anything can become an adventures if you want it to be!