Going from beaches to snow walls

How to Return to the Daily Grind after an Amazing Vacation

The Working Girl’s Beach Vacation Survival Guide, Part 2

In the last post we talked about how to avoid self-sabotage and enjoy your vacation. But all fabulous vacations must come to an end. Inevitably, you’ll return to the daily grind of waking up early for work and other unglamourous day-to-day responsibilities.

But don’t let the restorative effects of vacationing vaporize into the cold winter air the moment you get home to a snow-covered driveway. Like so many things, returning to work with grace is mostly a matter of perspective.

Here are the dos and don’ts I find most effective for extending the revitalizing glow from your vacation after you return to reality:

Do give yourself something to look forward to when you get home

There’s got to be at least one thing about home you miss while you’re on vacation, right? This could be something small, like looking forward to sleeping in your own bed again, or some fun plans you made ahead of time with friends  or family. For me, it was my cat. That fluffy little Muppet is basically my fur-child, so leaving her with my parents for two weeks was hard for me! 

Don’t freak out about weight gain

Yes, you are likely to have gained a couple pounds after a week or two of decadent desserts and margaritas, but it’s not as bad as you think. A lot of it is just water retention caused by the spike in salt and sugar. It will come off within a few days of your eating normally again.

In fact, don’t be surprised if you find yourself in even better shape in the days following your vacay; the body responds well to being well-rested!

But do get back to the gym. Like, now

Don’t get me wrong, it has nothing to do with any weight gain from your vacation. For me, it’s a momentum thing, like ripping off the proverbial band-aid. I would strongly recommend jumping right back into your exercise regime within 48 hours of the plane’s wheels touching the pavement. Put it off a day or two and the next thing you know you’ll forget where the gym is because you haven’t been there in so long.

Don’t wait to unpack your bag

I failed this one after my last trip so learn from my mistakes. There’s nothing worse than tackling a carry-on bursting with wrinkled, dirty clothes in the middle of the workweek. Unpack your bags as soon as you get home and get those clothes in the laundry. Otherwise it just becomes another cumbersome thing added to your to-do list, which trust me, you don’t need.

Do Start Some New Good Habits

Now that you’ve returned from a week of recharging your batteries, consider your return to reality as a chance to reboot your day-to-day actions. This is a good time to initiate something you’ve always wanted to do but feel like you never have time for. Maybe that’s writing more, or starting a side hustle, or trying a new recipe or type of exercise.

Do Keep a Sense of Humor

If you open the front door on your first day back to work only to discover that the snow plow has left a wall of snow at the end of your driveway high enough to keep out the White Walkers, then laugh, don’t cry. Because if you cry while trying to shovel your car to freedom, the tears are just going to freeze on your face.

The lesson being, you can’t change the fact that you’re back in the cold weather at your stressful job, you can only change your outlook on it. “Staying positive” is corny and frankly not feasible for many people. But everyone likes to laugh and even if your sense of humour towards the situation is decidedly sardonic, that’s still better than not having any humour at all.

What are your best tips for a smooth transition from vacation to work?

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