You keep pulling out your phone to stare at pictures of yourself on a pristine beach, sipping cocktails. But here you are, back at your desk, and your inbox is about to explode. High time to transport yourself to the present and get going.
But how? We’ve asked the experts how they get in gear, whether they’re working towards professional or personal goals.
Jenay Rose – Mindfulness coach, certified thought-coach, wellness influencer. @namastejenay
“One of the hardest parts about returning home from vacation is without a doubt getting back into our routine and submerging ourselves in the stress of real life that we so easily left behind – work, family, a million moving parts, responsibilities, fluctuations, all of it!
“When I work with clients on stress management, I always find myself needing to recommend the same common thread: compassion. No matter the client, no matter the circumstance. It all comes back to giving yourself some space, room to breathe, allowing yourself time to settle back in without overwhelming yourself of all the little things you may or may not have done yet.
“You know the saying, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar? Well the same goes for dealing with yourself.
“We come back from vacation most of the time ripping and roaring, freaking out about how much stuff we have to do, or dreading being home back to reality. But being able to see the circumstance from a distance, instead of being all involved in it, is a basic concept of mindfulness, and will bring you away from anxiety and back into your happy place of peace.
“You can acknowledge [the stress], but the key is to view it almost as an observer, which allows you to avoid all of the emotional overwhelmingness and approach it with a clear vision and tactical agenda. We typically allow our emotions to control us, making us reactive and prone to anxiety, mistakes, intense stress, burnouts, outbursts, and all of that. This is a fear-based approach! You’re seeing only the negative, the lack and scarcity.
“Instead of being so hard on yourself, try being compassionate. You just returned back, it’s okay for things to be a bit unorganised until you get back into the swing of things. You’ll find your stride, but you could very well be loopy from recycled plane air and uncomfortable hotel mattresses, and even affected by a time change! So show yourself some love. Take a big, deep breath, and on the exhale, release that fear of being home. On your next inhale, draw in compassion, appreciation and abundance. It’s as simple as that!”
Tackle Your Inbox
Quinn Tempest – Freelance graphic designer and digital marketing strategist. quinntempest.com
“The best way to dive right back into your work after a relaxing vacation is to create a structure for your first day back. I recommend tackling your inbox first, because nothing causes anxiety like 200+ unread messages! First, delete any unnecessary emails or promotions. Next, respond to any messages that need a reply. Lastly, move any action items into your preferred project management tool as tasks. Give yourself an hour to organise yourself like this, and by the end of it, your inbox will (hopefully) be at zero, and you will have your marching orders for what you need to do first. Doing this will give you the peace of mind you need to ease back into your workweek without losing too much of your vacation glow.”
Peg Fitzpatrick – Social media strategist, blogger and author of The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users. pegfitzpatrick.com
“According to Dr David Lewis of Mindlab International, reading has proven to be:
‘68% better at reducing stress levels than listening to music;
100% more effective than drinking a cup of tea;
300% better than going for a walk, and
700% more than playing video games.
Reading for as little as 6 minutes is sufficient to reduce stress levels by 60%, slowing heart rate, easing muscle tension and altering the state of mind.’
“Instead of consuming more mindless content on Facebook or comparing yourself to the lifestyles of the rich and Instafamous, read [a book] on your commute on the train. Read on your lunch break. Read before bed. If your post-vacation budget is tight, swap books with a friend or go to your local library. Learning new things and expanding your ideas keeps your mind fresh. You could always start dreaming and planning for your next vacation.”
Jumpstart Your Activity Engine
Gideon Akande – Certified personal trainer, champion boxer, former NCAA Division I running back and fitness expert. @getfitwithgiddy
“The post-vacation blues are real, but they can certainly be beat. The toughest task will always be getting (re)started! Jumpstart your activity engine by returning to what you love. Find movement that will lift you up and have you feeling energised. For some that will be dancing, recreational sports, walking, or yoga. When you do anything that is enjoyable, you’re more likely to repeat those activities. The endorphin rush provides a physiological response to return to those actions which will make you happier and healthier.”
Jesse Brisendine – Internationally recognised life coach, speaker and author of Ouch My Heart is Broken: Heartbreak Survival Guide. jessebrisendine.com
“All human beings, at our foundational core, are motivated by the same two desires: to avoid pain and to gain pleasure. The act of procrastination is a decision we make. In the moment of choice, we decide that the act of doing the thing that we should/need to do will be ‘painful’, and that there is a more ‘pleasurable’ alternative (scrolling on Facebook, watching YouTube, and whatever else we do in lieu of that which we should/need to do).
“Emotion produces motion, and to stop procrastination in its tracks, you need to have more emotion behind that which you need/should do. An easy way to do this is to ask yourself, ‘Why am I doing this?’ The more meaningful the answer, the more compelled you will be to get it done. A ‘because I have to’ response will result in procrastination nearly every time. However, a response like ‘This is going to enable me put food on the table for my daughter,’ will create success.
“Bonus tip: Connect your ‘why’ to the people that are the most meaningful to you, and you will find that your procrastinating ways go the way of the dinosaurs.”
Remember: You Are A Human Being, Not A Human Doing
Reese Evans – Life coach and founder of Yes Supply. yessupply.co
“After a vacation, it can be an adjustment to get back into your regular workday. However, getting back into your routine and diving head-first into reaching your goals has so much opportunity – and excitement. You get to challenge yourself, reach higher levels in your area of expertise, and blaze your path. Let’s talk about ways you can go back to work with a pep in your step.
“So often in our jobs and daily lives, we can get caught up in the ‘doing’ of tasks. While getting things done always feels great, as you transition back into regular life, remember the highlights of your daily life and remember to ‘Be’.
“That means taking in every moment. Remembering to take a nice deep breath from time to time, and as you’re running towards the finish line for that next project, taking a look around, and enjoying the scenery along the way. The scenery being the gratitude you feel for an amazing job that helps you to feel secure, people in your life who love you, and the opportunity to become whatever it is you strive to be. While the destination will be amazing when you get there, the journey is pretty amazing, too.
“I love to use tools like EFT Tapping (Emotional Freedom Techniques), deep breaths, grounding my energy, and journaling to get present in the moment and stay in charge of my feelings through the day.”