After Vacation: Tips to Bounce Back Fast
Suffering from the post-vacation blues? Here's how to ease the re-entry into your regular life.
For many people, a vacation is like a trip into space. The nerve-wracking
blastoff takes place only after weeks of careful planning. Then a few days of
serenity and peace are followed by a harrowing re-entry. The old routine may
feel like the force of gravity after days of weightlessness -- a familiar
burden that suddenly feels harder to bear. But with a bit of planning, you may
find that you actually did get some rest on vacation and you are ready to
resume your regular life again.
Tip No. 1: Plan a Smooth Return
A vacation meant to be relaxing actually can create post-vacation stress.
Careful planning certainly can help the vacation itself go smoother, but a good
recovery strategy afterward is essential.
Janet Keeler has learned to leave herself at least one free day after
vacation before returning to work. As the food and travel editor of the St.
Petersburg Times, she is never entirely free of her job.
"With a cell phone and Wi-Fi, we're more connected to work than ever
before," she says.
On top of that, she and her husband Scott, a photographer for the paper,
like to come back from vacation with at least one travel story, and maybe a
story and some pictures for the food section too.
During a recent three-week vacation to California, for example, they visited
"John Steinbeck country," taking pictures of Cannery Row and other
places significant in the writer's life and fiction. Having the story all but
written when she returns to work will help her get caught up.
She also made a point of going into the office on Sunday and plowing through
the 1,000 emails that awaited her attention.
"I deleted about 95% of them," she says.
But the rigors of re-entry didn't end there. There was unpacking, and
laundry, and an empty refrigerator, and their son's baseball schedule to attend
to. After crossing three time zones their sleep cycle was a little off,
Tip No. 2: Watch Sleep and 2 Other Vacation Variables
Sleep, alcohol, and kids tend to be interrelated, says Michael Breus, PhD,
author of Good Night: The Sleep Doctor's 4-Week Program to Better Sleep and