Post-Vacation Blues: Adjusting Back to the Daily Grind
When we come back to work after vacation—jet-lagged or not—walking through the office door doesn’t guarantee readjustment. Your mind is flurried with activity: there are memories to recap and thoughts to entertain. Back in the office, there are time differences (what vacation starts at 9 and ends at 6?), weather differences (hopefully vacation included sun), and—if you’ve vacationed properly—differences in activity. After all, reading on the beach isn’t the same as proofreading articles while hunched over a desk.
Upon returning, you have two options: embrace reality or put it off. Unfortunately, there is no now or never: it’s now or later, and later won’t be easier.
If you’re like me and ready to return to Earth (AKA work) after a long vacation, here’s how to make the adjustment smoothly:
1. Do not, I repeat, do not listen to music that reminds you of where you were. Whether you looped Bob Marley’s “Legend” for a week straight or danced to club music post-midnight, stay away from those tunes. It’s a bit like a break up; When has listening to “your song” ever helped you move on?
2. Get back into your routine. Go to your favorite coffee place at 3 p.m. each day like you did before you left for your bikini-clad hiatus. Go back to Tuesday night yoga. Sit in the park and watch the homeless man push his dog in a stroller. Get back to normal.
3. Think of what you missed. I’m not talking homesickness, but at some point, you surely thought of something from home that would have been nice to have. For instance, were you scared to eat red meat in a foreign country? Have that medium-well burger you’ve turned your back on for the past two weeks. Or did the standard grade hotel pillow make you miss your usual pillow that conforms to your head? Snuggle up.And then start planning your next trip.