Anytime you come home from vacation it feels like you pay a major price for having been away. For me that is one of the things that causes conflicting feelings about getting excited to go on vacation in the first place. It’s knowing that you will have to face the punishment for having been away on the vacation. Everything from the mounds of unread emails, the loads of laundry, the pile of unopened mail, and empty fridge, dealing with the jet lag, etc…..they are all part of that punishment for taking time away.
After facing the stress of my first day back from vacation I have determined that part of my problem is the fact that I don’t ever plan ahead for dealing with the aftermath of the vacation. I get so focused on planning the vacation itself that I don’t pay attention to planning ways to mitigate the pain of returning home after my vacations.
I decided that the next time I go on a vacation I am going to set a goal to do things prior to the vacation that will help mitigate the pains of coming home from my vacation. A few things I thought of today that would be helpful to do before the next vacation are:
- Clean the entire house before I go – I think walking back into a clean house would help eliminate the after-vacay stress a lot.
- Wash the bed sheets and make the bed before I leave. Coming home to fresh sheets on a bed that’s made makes all the difference.
- Assign someone to pick up my mail each day and have them throw away all the junk mail and magazines that come while I am gone so there won’t be such an intimidating pile of mail to handle when I get back.
- Get the laundry done at home before I go so the only laundry left to do is the laundry from the trip.
- I think from now on I will plan a full day off work between coming home from vacation and starting back in the office. Having a full day off would help get rid of the jet lag problem and allow for unpacking suitcases and doing the laundry from the trip. Then I could start back to work more refreshed.
- I think in the future I will set an out of office reply that tells people I will not be reading emails that come during my trip and requesting that they send a new email to me after my return (letting them know I have no intention of reading the emails that came in my absence), then I wouldn’t have to try and read through all the emails that came while I was gone because the important ones will be resent by people that truly needed me – that would shift the burden back to the people trying to reach you rather than putting it on your shoulders to catch up on everything that came through while you were gone.
So that is what I have come up with so far. If anyone else has additional ideas on things we could all do in advance of our vacations to ease the burden of returning home PLEASE share them in the comments. I could use all the help I can get on this matter and I assume I am not the only one who would love suggestions on this topic. I would love for us to conquer the stress of returning home from vacations because heaven knows I want to look forward to future vacations rather than dreading how I feel upon their return.
Have a great day everyone!