Getting Back to Work After Vacation

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Every year I take a vacation the week of July 4th off to spend time with my family in Cape Cod. Vacations are a great way to break from your routine and recharge your batteries.  It can also be really difficult to get back on track after a few days away.  If you dread getting back to work after a vacation here are some tricks you can try to make things go smoothly.

Post-Vacation Meal Plan

When we left for vacation there was little food in the house.  Today I want to get to the store and fill the fridge with healthy food.  If I don’t I know we will be ordering pizza Monday because I won’t want to go grocery shopping after work.  Eating healthy was not my top priority while I was away.  Donuts with the kids in the morning and we had huge dinners every night.  Now that I’m home that needs to stop before it becomes my new normal.  It isn’t great for the kids either so vegetables and fruit are about to make a comeback.

Planning healthy meals for the week back from vacation will prevent me from ordering takeout.  It will also help my family feel better after all of the carbs and sweets that we enjoyed while we were away!

While I was in the water quite a bit this week I didn’t consume nearly enough of it.  I drank plenty of hard cider, beer and wine though!  Time to dry out.  For the rest of this week it is nothing but water for me.  I can’t go without coffee but will try to cut back on that a bit as well.  It is easy to get dehydrated when you are traveling so drinking a lot of water is important.  I will try to keep a water bottle with me at all times, luckily I go to enough conferences that I have about 50 of them.  A cleanse might help as well.

Water – at least a gallon of it every day this week

A Vacation from Exercise

My sneakers made their way into my over-packed suitcase but they didn’t make it out.  The weather was so hot we spent every day at the beach or pool (sometimes both).  Signing up for a new workout program is just the motivation I need to get back in shape.  Also, I have a race in August that I need to start training for as well.  Getting events on the calendar keeps the week I slacked off from turning into two (or a month).  If you missed workouts over vacation don’t try to burn off all the extra calories by “punishing” yourself at the gym.  Ease back into it with a yoga class or a run and you’ll be back to your routine in no time.

Workout Rule #1: Never miss a Monday

Rule #2: Never weigh yourself the day after vacation

Back to Work

My out of office message has been on my phone and email for a week so hopefully nothing will be on fire when I get back.  Even if you work for yourself make sure your clients know that you will be away and unreachable when you go on vacation.  I used to say that I would check email and voicemail periodically but I’ve gotten better about leaving work behind when I’m on vacation and I don’t say that anymore.

If you come back to a full email box start by scanning for junk and delete everything you can before you open one email.  If there is a long chain read the latest one and if the problem was handled delete the rest and move on.

Handle the most important task the day you are back but don’t try and do everything you missed in one day.  Get to work on time and leave on time.  Work will be there all week and it’s better to get back to your normal schedule so you don’t go from refreshed to burned out in one day.  If you can have something great on the calendar for the week you return to work.  I’m going to a conference for Women Investment Advisers on Tuesday and I can’t wait to feel inspired and learn from the presenters.

If you are in tears because you have to go back to work it’s time to make some changes.  A vacation can give you perspective and life is too short to stay in a job you hate.  Can’t quit? Consider updating your resume or improving your skills when you get back to work.  Post vacation blues are normal but if you are dreading work you should try to find something new before your next vacation.  

Take it Easy on Yourself

I’ve been on maternity leave twice and it taught me an important lesson.  Work does not fall apart when I am not there.  My co-workers are smart and helpful and I can count on them to get things done.  If you have trouble going on vacation because you “can’t” step away maybe you need to delegate more or get help if you are on your own.  Even if you don’t leave the state (or your house) everyone deserves a day off now and then.  Give yourself a little time to adjust back to the real world in a healthy way.

Do you use all of your vacation days every year?  What are your favorite places to vacation?  Leave a comment with your vacation tips!

 

 

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2 comments

  1. I’m a SAHM but my husband does carry over 5 vacation days every year into the next year so he is never stressed about *needing* to take time off if something happens. Otherwise, he takes more long weekends than actual vacation weeks. Being that he works at home and doesn’t need to be chained to his desk, we have traveled and he has just worked at the hotel during the day. I take the kids to the beach and he works and meets up with us for dinner and a walk on the beach with the dogs after he’s done for the day. He takes the week of Thanksgiving off through the second Monday of December and the week between Christmas and New Years depending on when the holiday falls.

    1. I love long weekends! It is nice to not have that stress especially when you are a parent and know you have the vacation days in the bank when you need them. We haven’t gone on an expensive vacation in a very long time but even going to the beach nearby is enough for me to feel 100% better.

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