I’m sure you can relate: your holiday is over and, after two days back at work, you feel as if you’ve never been away. Why is it so hard to hang onto a bit of that relaxed holiday mood? These tips will help you enjoy your holiday vibes that bit longer.
What’s the first thing you often do when you get back off holiday? Read your e-mails, thinking that will soon get you back in the swing of things. But it also means you’re sucked straight back into the daily grind, despite the fact that your e-mail is often not the most important aspect of your work. So, on your first day back at work and for a few more days after that, schedule things that energize you. This gives you the most satisfaction and, by extension, enjoyment. To enable you to do this, turn on your out-of-office assistant for a little longer. This gives you space to set your priorities.
We humans are creatures of habit. We live by routines. Routine is good, because it enables us to complete lots of simple tasks with little effort. Yet those same routines also mean that we quickly fall back into old, familiar patterns. A holiday is the perfect time to establish new routines. Set the alarm half an hour earlier, for instance, for a good work-out or a long walk. You’ll undoubtedly find this easier after a summer holiday, when the weather is usually still good If you keep this up for 6 weeks, a new routine will be born – one that leaves you feeling a lot better.
How come you do nice things with family and friends on holiday, but no longer have time for them once you’re back home? Of course, duty calls, in the shape of work, housework, family, and other stuff. Yet there’s nothing stopping you from doing fun things, such as day trips to the coast, forest, or city. Plan those trips as soon as you get back from holiday. Put them in your diary or calendar and make concrete plans for what you’re doing to do, and with whom. That way, you’ll have something to look forward to. And studies have shown that the anticipation is half the fun.
That glass of wine in front of the tent, the scent of those flowers, that music. On holiday, all our senses are stimulated. Why not replicate this at home. Put that beautiful bowl that reminds you of Italy on the table. Make a Spotify playlist of all your favourite Spanish flamenco tunes. Enjoy the lavender sachets from Provence. Print out your best holiday photos and display them somewhere prominent, as a daily reminder. This will regularly transport you back and rekindle those holiday vibes. Did you play lots of card games with the kids on holiday? Did you chill around a campfire? Or did you always treat yourself to a lunchtime cappuccino? What’s stopping you doing that at home? Those things made you happy, and that’s how you make new routines.
We’re so good at focusing on what went wrong, on what we could have done differently. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course; otherwise we’d never get better. On holiday, we aren’t critical – we’re really nice and kind to ourselves and the people around us. We should be able to keep this up at home. Pay your loved ones more compliments. Compliment your colleagues and co-workers too. Say something nice or do someone a favour. We derive the most satisfaction from giving. So, do the same for yourself. Reward yourself when you’ve worked really hard, with an extra break for a walk, or your favourite sandwich. Book a massage in the evening, or go to the cinema to see the latest Bond film.
Research by the University of San Francisco shows that holidaying is good for your health. Because you are relaxing, your stress levels drop, which in turn boosts your immune system. This, in turn, means you get sick less often. So: welcome home, but hold on to that feeling!
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