Mental Health Monday

Readjusting After Vacation

So you’ve just gotten back from vacation. Well, actually I have. But we’ve returned from our vacation back to normal life. What do you do? Panic? Stress? Moan and complain? Or is it possible to actually stay happy after you return from vacation?

I think it is.

Photo by Alex Powell on

Let’s not confuse this, it isn’t easy coming back from vacation and settling back into the normal swing of things but there are some things that make it easier. There are some ways to take the burden off yourself.

For starters, take an extra day.

Or fly back on a Saturday. This is because if you land and have less than twenty four hours before you have to go back to work, you will bonk. You’ll run out of energy. You’ll get sick. You’re setting yourself up for some major, major failure and stress. So, plan your trip and add on a weekend to it. Or just a day. This way you’ll have smooth sailing.

It also gives you time to readjust. Often we feel like we need a vacation after our vacation. If you’re a busy vacationer then yes, you might need a day to chill. And that’s okay! In fact, we should give ourselves at least a day to readjust to our world. It also gives us some time to throw the laundry in, sleep, and recuperate from the stress (physical and mental) of travel.

Do nothing the day you return.

Seriously. Don’t work out, don’t go shopping, don’t start power cleaning the entire house. Have a meal or two ready for when you return home and just take it easy. Enjoy a calm day by yourself or with a loved one. Just take a minute to slow yourself down. You’re body has been go, go, going for awhile. Let it stop, stop, stop.

We get in the habit of thinking everything needs to be solved now. It doesn’t. If you want to do yourself a favor, toss the laundry in from the trip. Maybe go for a light walk if you feel up to it. Take a nap. Maybe set up your stuff for the next day, take a minute and think about work and what you’re returning to. If you have to do something, do something that will help you out during the upcoming week.

Schedule more relaxing time.

Maybe in the week following your trip it’d be kind to yourself to plan a little bit more “me time” into your schedule. Take a bath. Meditate. Read more. Forego extra workouts and instead plan for a little bit more relaxation. When we relax for awhile and immediately force ourselves back into everything, we will burn out. No questions there.

So take a little bit of extra time. No one is going to judge you for that and if they do, ignore it. Your physical and mental health come first.

Photo by Nur Andi Ravsanjani Gusma on

That being said, get enough sleep.

You don’t get to sleep enough on vacation and then neglect your sleep schedule when you return. You’ll get sick and worn out. When you return, make sure you’re getting at least eight hours a night. You might even need more after your first day of travel home and your first full day of work. The body needs to recover and readjust. Give it that.

That might mean cutting some things from the schedule for a week. That’s okay! That first week back is all about adjusting. Hopefully, you’ve worked ahead as much as possible. This guarantees that you’ve done your best to prepare.

Don’t forget to eat right and exercise.

Yes, yes. Now that you’re home you can’t necessarily eat the way you did on vacation. That’s fine! That’s part of what makes vacation so much fun, right? The freedom from the norm. Except, now you’re back home so you’ve got to get back to that norm.

Make sure you don’t skip more than the first day or two home in terms of eating right and exercising. It’s very, very hard to restart those efforts so don’t let yourself slack. Besides, eating light will feel good after heavy meals. Remember too that you don’t have to do a crazy workout for it to count. You only get to get moving and get sweaty consistently!

And that’s pretty much it, right? A lot of us have a go, go, go attitude but there are many times when we have to abandon that in search of health. Coming off a vacation and immediately jumping into everything is not a good idea. It’s a bad one.

The biggest message here is just be good to yourself.

Listen to what your body has to say.

It’s going to let you know if it’s worn out and needing more rest. Please take it. It will make you take it one way or another. The next step to ignoring your body’s demands especially after a vacation where you touch lots of things and see lots of people is getting sick. Which no one wants.

Let’s all of us avoid getting sick and having to take more time off by just taking an extra day, drinking lots and lots of water, and getting enough sleep. It sounds simple enough but staying hydrated, well-rested, and inactive is a lot harder than it sounds.

If any of you are reading this after your travels, I hope you all had great trips! Stay healthy and chill for a day.


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