Wow! That went fast!! You plan, and plan, and plan, and anticipate, and look forward, and count the days until vacation and now, it’s over. Most of us have a hard time coming back. How can you make it easier on yourself?
Just like you planned for the time off, can you plan your re-entry?
What is re-entry? Is that even a thing?
It sure is.
Coming back from time off can be very stressful. It takes scary Sundays and puts them on steroids! It’s one thing to dread Mondays, but it can be down right depressing to anticipate what you will find piled high on your desk the day you get back from vacation and the cluster#$%* that is now your calendar.
You know the drill, you don’t sleep well the night before because you know you have to get up early and get back to all that you couldn’t wait to leave behind before vacation. And even those of us who love our jobs and our daily lives feel this same level of anticipation for the first day back.
Life doesn’t stop when you go on vacation. Everything and everyone else keeps it moving. On Monday, how many meetings will you have to sit thru while those pressures keep piling higher? When will you ever catch up? How many people will want something from you when all you want it to do is look at pictures of the fun you just left back there in vacationland?
What’s the answer to an easier re-entry? Plan for it! Plan to ease your way back in… Whether you’re returning from vacation, maternity leave, a sabbatical leave or preparing for a new school year or job…here are five ways to have a more calm and compassionate re-entry experience.
- Begin with the end in mind. Ask yourself, in order for me to have an easy time of going back to my routine, what would have to happen?
- i.e. If you have to go back to work on Monday, see if you can arrange to work from home. This way you can create your own schedule. In peace and quiet you can go thru your inbox, catch up with your team, take care of what’s important, while you sit in your PJs and drink Zen tea.
- Come back from vacation and plan to add a day off for re-entry.
- Take an extra day to be at home…Do this very kind thing for yourself so that you can slowly re-enter in to your home life. Take the day to unpack, do your laundry, open mail, feel a sense of organization and get back into your life routine before you try to jump back in to work as well.
- Schedule your first day back as a Tuesday or Wednesday so that the weekend isn’t far off and you know that you’ll have downtime to reconnect with the relaxation you felt while you were away.
- If you have to come back on a Monday, leave work on time and plan to do something fun that evening. Make this an activity that you will look forward to, either meeting up with loved ones to share the stories of your adventure or coming home and making time to do something nourishing for your mind, body and spirit.
- Bring your vacation mindset back as a souvenir. Just because your environment changes, doesn’t mean your attitude has to.
“ Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” -unknown
a. While on vacation notice how flexible you’re willing to be, how much calmer you process things, how much freer you feel.
b. Journal what you’re noticing during your time off and take some deep breaths as you re-engage with life after time off. Remember that your mindset is completely your choice.
c. Create a play list of the songs that you can bring to work that remind you of the vacay vibe!
- Practice Gratitude. Starting on vacation, write down three things you’re grateful for every evening before you go to sleep. This will help you get in to this habit. When you return, continue to use this practice of appreciation to make re-entry an easier transition:
- “I’m grateful that I have a job to go back to when many others are looking for work.”
- “I’m grateful that I make the money I do that helps me afford vacations like the one I just had.”
- “I’m grateful that I have co-workers, neighbors, family who have held down the fort while I was away.”
Everyday is a gift. Taking the time to consider re-entry experience is not only necessary, it’s the kindest and gentlest thing you can do. Planning your re-entry may be a novel idea, but it’s also your new vacation necessity!
Be good to yourself. Your life will thank you.