How To Get Back In The Swing Of Things After A Vacation

Getting away from it all now and then can help you rest, recharge and experience more in the world. But don’t let the thought of coming back to your normal life ruin the vacation! Here are some tried-and-true tips on how to transition from easy mode to real life.

I’m writing this post after a two-week break from working on Wellella (and my normal, day-to-day life).

My in-laws were visiting from Finland for the first time in about three years, so I spent most of my time hosting them in my home. Lots of sitting around the table drinking coffee (and using Google Translate)!

We also took several day trips to lots of cool places in Texas. I got to see the Fort Worth stockyards and cattle drive twice, went to a concert in Dallas, saw the world’s largest flea market in Canton, walked through some cool historical homes and got to step in dinosaur footprints for the second time in Glen Rose! It was a busy, fun 2-week vacation…

But boy, it’s not always easy to get settled back into your normal rhythm after a few weeks of fun. Here’s how I’ve been able to successfully transition back into full-speed, productive me in just a few simple steps.

1. Immediately when you’re done with the break/vacation, clean up from it. If you hosted guests, as soon as they walk out the door, do a 1-minute check of the areas they occupied to make sure they didn’t forget anything. Once you’ve confirmed that nothing has been left behind, strip any beds and get that washing machine running. Sweep the floors, open the windows and let the house air out.

If you had packed bags from a trip, right away when you come home completely empty out the luggage. Put dirty clothes in the wash, put away souvenirs, vacuum out suitcases if needed and put them back where you store them. You might have a small burst of energy now that the vacation has ended – but this feeling will quickly turn to tiredness, so you better get these things done immediately.

The longer you wait to clean up from a trip/hosting, the more annoying those tasks will be to deal with later.

2. Rest. Once you’ve got the trip/hosting stuff 100% cleaned up, give yourself 24-48 hours to just “rest.” By resting I don’t mean lay around in bed all day necessarily. Just give yourself a day without having to worry about things or think about things. Order takeout if you can. Give yourself some me time, chill, etc.

3. After all that cleaning and resting you’ll probably start itching to get something productive done. In fact, you’ll probably be thinking about ALL THE THINGS you wanna start getting done. Thinking about them is fine, but don’t start working on them yet. You’re likely to get overwhelmed, so it’s smarter to write a list of the stuff you wanna start working on. Try to pinpoint one item on that list that sparks the most interest in you, but don’t work on it yet.

4. Get back into the right headspace with inspiration. Listen to music, browse photos, art, or read things that help you feel motivated to start working. You might not think you need to do this step, but it helps you get back into work with a stronger sense of WHY than just looking at where you left off.

5. Once you’re fully charged with rest, motivation, having an organized space and checklist, you’re ready for lift-off. Start with just the first thing on your work to-do list and just get it done. Go through the list one thing at a time and…. congratulations! You’ve gotten back into the swing of things. It might not feel like it the first day, but I can bet that by the second day of working on things, it’ll feel quite familiar.

I did exactly these things over the past few days and I’m happy to say that today, on my first Monday after guests leaving, I got all my household chores done and created 2 new products in my shop!

Your turn: What methods or tools do you use to get yourself back into working mode after a vacation? Do you find it easy to get back into the swing of things or is it something you struggle with?

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