Recovering from Post-Vacation Blues: 6 Tips For Getting Back on Track

Are you just back from (or maybe still on) your Spring Break / Holy Week vacation, and feeling a bit anxious about returning to your routine? You know you need it ASAP - your body needs the healthier home cooked food and exercise routine more than ever - but it’s SO hard to get back in to the full force of things after a break. Just thinking about getting up early and dealing with daily chores is suddenly putting a weight on you, and you suddenly miss the no-alarm-clock vacation.

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Not to mention it’s already April! Q1-2018 is over, and many of our goals have yet to be made.

But don’t fret. It’s totally normal to feel a bit anxious. I personally felt it this time more than ever. So on my plane ride back to Managua, I took out my iPad and jotted down what tools I could use to help me bounce back into the routine, and what tips I could share with you if you’re also struggling with these post-vacation blues.

Here are 6 tips to apply NOW, right after your vacation, to make the most of this new quarter and get back into your healthy productive routine:

1.     JOURNAL. First and foremost, take a second to breathe and reminding yourself that you WILL find the time for everything that needs to be done; it’s just about scheduling and prioritizing. Then grab a pen and journal and get organized. Write down what you plan to do - starting NOW - to meet your goals. I personally use a Bullet Journal; I found their method simple and effective to help me stay organized. But even if you use any old journal to jot down your short-term and medium-term To-do’s, it will help. Promise. Yes, you can use your iPhone, but in my opinion, there is nothing like old-fashioned pen and paper, and the joy of crossing-off completed tasks.

2.     PRIORITIZE SLEEP. For at least the first week that you return from vacation, get your 7-9 hours of sleep ... non-negotiable. Aim to be in bed by 10 pm (or earlier!). I know its hard but this is the number one thing that will help you get back into the cycle of things (without the post-vaca exhaustion). To help you commit, jot it down in your journal/to-do list!

3.     REST AND PLAY. Pencil in some time this weekend to stay home, relax and maybe be with family and/or loved ones. Nothing social nor tiring, just staying home and being with your kids, spouse, boy/girlfriend or mom and watching a movie. Literally, add it to your schedule and make sure you do it Let the social events wait if you can, and give your body a chance to relax.

4.     BOOK YOUR CLASSES. Book your exercise classes for the next 2 weeks. Just do it. Book those barre/yoga/pilates/spinning classes on MindBody and commit. If you’re not a gym/class fan, then pencil in your jogs/sports into your calendar. Planning is key for productivity and success.

5.     HYDRATE. It’s very common to get a bit dehydrated when on vacation, whether you went to beach or skiing. So dedicate this post-vacation week to consciously drinking A LOT of water. Coconut water, water with lemon, cold-pressed juices and herbal teas are all wonderful hydrating options, too.

6.     SPRING CLEANING. Even if it’s Fall for you (like my fam in Uruguay), or “dry hot season” (as it is for me in Managua), we just ended a quarter, and the season/climate is slightly changing for all of us. It’s a great time to do some “cleaning” for your mind/spirit, body and house. Here are my spring cleaning tips:

  • Body cleanse:
    • Do a gentle food-based cleanse or DETOX this month (the sooner the better)
    • Commit to at least one new eating/diet/lifestyle habit for this month
  • Mind/Spirit cleanse:
    • Commit to letting go of one bad habit and acquiring one new habit
    • Start reading a new book
  • Home cleanse:
    • Go through your closet and bathroom and get rid of at least 3 things you don’t need or that don’t bring you joy. (I highly suggest reading Marie Kondo's Spark Joy for more on this!)
    • Replace at least one product that you use on your face/body with a non-toxic version. We all still have some toxic make-up items or creams filled with parabens and fragrances; toss one and commit to buying an organic/toxic-free version. Check out this awesome guide for more (you can see which of your products are "toxic" and also find better alternatives).

I promise it’s all doable, and you can totally tackle a few of these things simultaneously. Get in bed tonight by 9:30 pm, take out a journal and with this list in mind, commit to your to-dos for tomorrow, schedule your exercise classes, make a note to book your detox, and this weekend commit to relaxing at home, reading your book and tossing out your toxic products. You’ll feel like NEW post your vacation.

Love and post-vacation blues,