Beating the Post Vacation Burnout
We’ve all done it. Fly off to some sunny destination early in the morning and return at the last minute Sunday night to maximize our vacation time. Monday morning crawl out of bed, get the kids off to school, and drag yourself to work. By noon that relaxing walk on the beach is a faded memory, but the pile of laundry waiting at home isn’t going away so easily. Feeling exhausted and depressed surely isn’t the way you envisioned remembering your well deserved break from the daily grind. Well, it doesn’t have to be this way. A little extra planning can go a long way to relieving this stress.
When planning a vacation topics can range from which hotel has the best view to how much can I save on airfare, but rarely do we think of the return home. Certainly nobody wants to think about the end of a vacation, right? That’s the problem. Vacations are all about adventure, relaxation, and forgetting your daily worries. There’s an alternative to maximizing your vacation time away from home and that is including your return as part of the plan. Don’t just get back a day early to catch up on everything; keep your vacation going strong. Plan some fun local activities or just hang out and relax in the back yard. If you must tackle some chores, like laundry, keep it to a minimum. Being on the road can take a toll on your body and mind, so having some time to detox before returning to the reality of daily life can help you ease out of vacation mode and also get you ready to handle Monday morning’s stresses. A day or two to detox is especially important for kids who need to head back to school.
Here are a few tips for setting up for departure and what to do when you arrive home from whatever fun-filled destination. Make sure to think of returning to the comforts of home as part of your trip, not the end of a great vacation.
Before you leave:
- Get caught up on household chores the week before your trip so there aren’t messes waiting when you return.
- Wash your bed linens just before vacation. Fresh sheets will make it feel like you’re still at a hotel.
- If not needed, don’t let friends and family know which day you’re coming home. You don’t want to have to entertain guests while you’re still on vacation.
- Set out clothes for your return days as part of packing.
- Be sure to stock some food so a frantic grocery run isn’t needed. If you have somebody watching your house/pets, ask them to pick up a couple of fresh items from the store before your return.
- Make reservations or buy tickets so there is a special event waiting when you return home.
When you return:
- Set aside a day or two for free time when you get home and make it part of the vacation.
- Resist the urge to start catching up on phone calls, email, chores, etc. You’re still on vacation!
- Go out to dinner, order pizza, or have a little BBQ. Keep food prep and cleanup to a minimum so it doesn’t become work.
- Spend the day at the zoo, relax at a spa, see a movie, go for a hike. Plan some fun local activities you’ve been wanting to do but didn’t have time.
- Don’t schedule any appointments for a few days; ease back into things.
- Talk about your vacation, revel in those memories, then start thinking about your next adventure.
Coming home from vacation doesn’t have to be a letdown. A little pre-planning and a a few days off to relax goes a long way towards easing back into the daily grind. Feel free to share your favorite vacation tips in the comments section or on my social media outlets. Thanks for stopping by!