Categories: Lifestyle

How To Go From Vacation Mode Back To Work Mode

As summer winds down and your travels, presumably, come to an end, your mind must adjust from vacation mode back to full-on work mode, with the long, hot days giving way to the cold, dark fall nights. But, just because you’ll find yourself working from your cubicle more and not from the shared rooftop, doesn’t mean that you need to be any less productive. In fact, it can be the exact opposite, assuming you know how to get yourself out of vacation mode the right way.

Vacation days are earned for a reason, but going back to the grind can potentially leave you feeling anxious and depressed. In a perfect world, we’d all be living an endless summer. However, since we’re limited to 10 vacation days from work, returning to the job can be quite jarring. These tips will help you get through this mildly trying time with a clear, calm mind, though.

Unpack Your Bag ASAP

When you return home from an epic vacation, the last thing you’ll feel like doing is unpacking your bag. Unfortunately, when you put off tackling that simple task, your bag will end up laying open on your floor for days — maybe even weeks — and serve as a sad reminder that you won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. The easy fix to this sad situation is to unpack everything after you’ve had a moment to decompress from your travels.

First, put everything on your bed, stash your bag and start organizing. Put away clean clothes, throw the dirty ones in your laundry basket and toss your toiletries back in the bathroom. Not only will you feel like you’ve fully closed the book on your trip, but you’ll have a clean and organized space to get ready on your first day back to the office.

Get Physical

If your time off included a lot of lounging, it’s a no-brainer as to why you feel sluggish and unmotivated when you return home from vacation. Even if it sounds like torture, this is the perfect time to get physical. Anything to get your blood pumping and heart rate up is highly recommended to drop the extra couple pounds you put on while indulging, plus, the benefits of working out to get your mind and body right for going back to work are aplenty! Bottom line: get back into a workout routine for a clear mind, body and soul.

Don’t Expect To Catch Up On Everything In One Day

The pile of emails, unopened envelopes, voicemails and an overflowing inbox will be waiting for you on the first day back, but there’s no need to panic and add more work stress. Obviously, catching up on all the work you missed while on vacation is a necessary evil, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming.

The key to staying focused and not overwhelmed is to compartmentalize, setting reasonable expectations so not to feel anxious if you don’t finish a certain task in the first few days back in the office. Remember, going from vacation mode to work mode isn’t going to happen overnight, so spend a little time prioritizing your pile of demands so you know where to begin. If it takes a few days, who cares! The short-lived time of a heavier workload is definitely worth the sunsets on the beach you just enjoyed.

Start Planning Your Next Vacation With A Visual Reminder

Sure, it’ll be a few months before you have enough days to jet off for a long weekend, but there’s no better way to get past your post-vacation blues than to choose your next out-of-town destination. Write it down on a post-it, hang up a picture, have flight alerts emailed to you so you have a constant reminder to save, stay excited and have another adventure to look forward to. It may be a tease, for now, but it can become a reality in the near future — and serve as motivation to get through the shorter days that are about to come.

Lead image via Getty

Aimee Curran

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Aimee Curran

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