Getting tossed back into the real world after time off is the worst. Going from sleeping in to that early morning workout wake-up call is hard. I recently went to Walt Disney World for eight days, and upon my return, I realized just how much I struggle with this transition back to reality. After daily afternoon naps (because Disney World is no joke), that 2pm meeting at the office was more difficult than I expected. For that reason, I’ve started working on my foolproof plan for getting back to reality after a vacation in three (ish) simple steps.
The first thing I did upon my very late arrival home from the airport was immediately unpack my bag. I’m honestly proud of myself for even making it this far because I got home around two in the morning, but I came in, unzipped my suitcase, and promptly emptied it. I threw all my dirty clothes into the hamper (to be dealt with tomorrow), and the rest were replaced back into their respective spots in my closet. It seems silly, like this is a task I definitely could have waited until the morning for, but I know myself. I know that if I left my bag untouched for too long, then I would be stepping over it in the floor for weeks before I finally worked up the energy to put it away. Instead, I took a few minutes to tidy up, and I started off the next morning in a clean (ish) room, ready to start my day.
Opening up your computer to a completely full inbox after time off can be slightly anxiety inducing. Spend just a few minutes checking in on your work email the night before heading back into the office. I know, I know, if you’re still on vacation, the last thing you want to do is have work on the brain, but hear me out. Coming home from Orlando, we had a little chunk of time during our layover in Charlotte, so I logged onto my work email and just did some house-keeping. I sifted through everything, trashed any junk mail, marked what needed an immediate response, and then mentally prioritized how I would tackle everything as soon as I got into the office on Monday. It saved me time at my desk allowed me to be mentally prepared for what I was walking into after being out for an entire week.
Lastly, there’s a handful of very small tasks that you can do before heading back to work that will get you prepared and feeling ready to take on the day. I’ve talked about it before in my How to Beat the Sunday Scaries post, but setting out my workout clothes and planning what I’ll wear to work on Sundays does wonders for my mindset in the mornings. I save so much time when I don’t have to dig through my closet for something to wear. Packing lunch ahead of time and getting all the vacation laundry out of the way also helps me get my head back in the game and feel more prepared for the day ahead.
Overall, anything that you can do to feel like you’ve got your stuff together is going to help you bounce back from your vacation slump (even if you’d rather not snap back to reality just yet). What other tricks do you have to get back to reality quickly?