With Labor Day Weekend knocking on our door, vacation is on my mind. I’ve gone on some amazing trips this summer: Chicago, Philadelphia, and Nashville. They all have one thing in common, though. Coming back to work is rough. After an amazing trip, you can experience a real case of vacation lag. Vacation lag, similar to jet lag, is that feeling when you come back after an amazing trip or even holiday weekend at home + you just can’t see to get back into your normal workflow. You’re either wishing you back on vacation or that you were back in bed. This extreme case of the Monday Blues can put a real damper on your post-vacay glow.
Vacation lag is a real productivity killer, only made worse by the amount of work you have piled up from being out. While vacation lag can leave you feeling hopeless + overwhelmed until Friday when you can recover, there are things you can do before, after, and during your vacay to alleviate the misery it may be causing you.
Preparing for Vacation Lag Before You Leave
- Leave your space clean (home + work). No matter how frenzied you were preparing + packing for your vacation, coming back to a clean space is much more zen than dealing with vacation lag in a cluttered space.
- Tackle the hard tasks. If you know you have a big presentation or report after the long weekend or a trip, get the bulk of it done before you go so you aren’t stressing about it on your downtime + don’t have to muster the strength to do it when you return.
- Leave yourself a treat. Whether it is lunch with your favorite coworker to discuss your trip or favorite cold brew in the fridge, the little pleasures can boost your mood.
Stunting Vacation Lag While You’re Gone:
- Don’t think about the office or your to-do list. Even if your vacation is a work-related conference. Enjoy your time away + don’t spend it focusing on what you have to do when you get back; there will be plenty of time for that later.
- Delegate your work. While you’re away + your out of office message is up, clients + coworkers will hopefully be going through your emergency contact for anything pressing. Other team members should be given instructions to take care of certain things while you are gone to help lighten your load when you return.
- Get some rest! The night before you go back to work, get as much sleep as possible to ensure you’re fully rested + ready to take on the day when you return. No one wants to need a vacation to recover from their vacation.
Fighting Vacation Lag When You’re Back:
- Wake up, hard. Whether through a workout, coffee, or a bumping playlist, wake yourself up fully before taking on your day. And don’t feel bad reaching for an extra cup of caffeine!
- Start your day off with a list. Whenever I am feeling overwhelmed, I take a minute to collect my thoughts + make a to-do list. More often than naught, it isn’t as overwhelming as I thought + I just needed a game plan.
- Don’t overwork yourself. It can be tempting to go super hard the day back from vacation or a long weekend. Whether you’re battling the Monday Blues or vacation lag, this is the wrong approach. Not only will it make that day miserable, but will extend your symptoms even further into the week.
Whether you’re recovering from an epic month in Europe or Labor Day Weekend at home with your family, these tips will help you transition back into work + tackle your vacation lag like a champ!