b2ap3_thumbnail_post_vacation_blues_400.jpgImagine getting back on the plane home and remembering that you have to go back to work in less than twelve hours. It might feel draining and just plain awful, but you might be relieved to know you’re not alone. As someone who just retuned from vacation today, it doesn’t have to be as painful as it sounds. In fact, it can be easy if you approach it the right way.

Regardless of whether you’re planning a trip, or in the middle of one, you shouldn’t feel anxious about returning to the office. Here are three ways to ease back into your daily routine.

Plan Ahead to Avoid Jet Lag and Travel Issues
If you’re traveling a fair distance, you’re probably doing so by plane. If this is the case, try to return a day earlier than normal in order to readjust to the time zone. Jet lag can be torture on your first day back to the office, so you want to make sure you have enough time to get back into an ordinary sleep routine. It’s important to readjust to the local time as soon as possible.

Ease Into Your Diet and Exercise Routines
We generally see vacation as a time to let loose and forget about your diet. After all, why hold yourself back when you’re doing something for yourself for a change? Regardless of how true to your diet and your exercise routine you were before your vacation, you’ll probably still feel like kicking back and relaxing rather than shifting your focus back toward being healthy. This is entirely understandable.

That’s why it’s recommended that you take the week following your return to get back into the routine. You shouldn’t need to make the leap immediately upon touchdown. Instead, plan to take an incremental approach and set goals to meet.

What About Your Work Routine?
Arguably, going back to work is one of the most challenging parts of coming back from a vacation in an exotic locale. Thankfully, getting back into your work routine isn’t challenging if you’ve taken the necessary precautions prior to leaving. For instance, you should set up an email autoresponder that informs the sender that you’re out of the office, and who they should contact during your absence. Furthermore, place an estimated return date so they have an idea of when to expect you, and set up a workflow for how your coworkers handle your absence. Who’s taking on your responsibilities? This needs to be considered in order to minimize headaches upon your return to the office.

Of course, the state of your office when you return to work will largely depend on how well you prepared for your extended absence. You will probably have a ton of email built up. It might feel soul crushing to respond to so many emails at once; instead, try sorting through them in order of importance. Is it urgent, or can it wait? Start by responding only to those that absolutely need to be responded to. This can help take some of the stress off of your vacation email cache. When it comes to tasks, start by handling those that have approaching deadlines, or relatively small tasks that can be accomplished in one sitting.

Overall, it doesn’t have to be challenging to get back into the workplace mindset following a vacation; you just need to make sure you manage your responsibilities to ensure you make it as easy as possible to get back in the game upon your return.