If you are like me, you take a well deserved summer holiday with your family in August. It is a great time to spend a week or two with them to relax, over indulge and spend quality time together.
I have just come back from a fantastic two week holiday in Belek, Turkey. I am rested, tanned and have gained 3 kgs, but am dreading going back to work.
Are you in the same boat?

If so, I have a routine that I have developed over many years that helps me get over those post holiday blues.

Take an extra day off

I always try and return home on a Friday or a Saturday so I do not have to go to work the next day. If this is not possible, then I will take an extra day off work.

This allows me to –

  • Get over the late return flights, jet lag or just the strain of the journey itself.
  • Not stress about work on the journey home, it is hard enough coming home, let along think about work as well.
  • Spend some fun time with the family organising holiday photos and sharing them with friends and family.
  • Help my wife clear away any signs of the holiday i.e. unpacking and putting the suitcases back in the loft.
  • Cut down the new forest that has grown in the back garden.
  • Clear any piled up personal snail mail or emails.
  • Get an early night so that I am refreshed and ready for my early journey to work the next day.

The dreaded first day back at work

I always block out this day in my calendar so I can get up to speed and plan out the rest of the week.

I also keep my out of office on for that day to ensure that I am not swamped with voice calls and anymore email.

The morning – email hell
I catch up with my team in person rather than trawl through the hundreds of emails I have from them in my inbox.

I then group up my emails, moving the ones from my manager and clients into a todo folder and archive the rest. I know that if an archived email is important then the sender will contact me again.

I then look at all my calendar,  decline the lower priority clashes and the ones I do not need to be at and accept the rest.

Lunchtime
I ensure I take a lunch hour with my work friends to catch up and show off my holiday memories. Remembering the fun times, makes me feel good.

The afternoon
I spend the afternoon clearing my email in my todo folder, reassessing my priorities and planning out the rest of the week.

Tip – I always block out a few hour slots in my diary throughout the whole week. This stops my calendar filling up with 30 minute meetings all week.

Leave on time
I always leave at 5pm feeling good that I have caught up and am ready to face the rest of the week. It also gives me some extra time with the family I have missed all day.

Managing emotions

The negative emotions you have when you come back to work can be hard to manage, but you have to turn these positive.

I do this by –

  • Booking my next small break away, this gives me something positive to look forward to in the short term.
  • Organising next years summer vacation with my wife which gives the family something to look forward to.
  • Planning a personal project to focus on, the garden, the house, a hobby or an event. A year ago, my friend and his family came away with us and we both planned to take up scuba diving. I am now a PADI qualified diver and have done six open water dives, two of which were wreck dives.
  • Going back to the gym and eating clean. Exercising and healthy eating are great ways to get positivity flowing.

If after two weeks you are still feeling down, then there maybe something more fundamental. It maybe time to reassess your job using my Should I quit my job quiz post.

Conclusion

This routine has me helped shake off my holiday blues for many years now.

Even though I get back into work mode quickly, I still have the holiday memories to make me smile.

What do you do to shake off your holiday blues?

Your virtual mentor & coach
Nick @ nicholas-foster.com

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