5 Ways to Manage Your Back-From-Vacation Stress

Published on: 28 Oct 2019
Clinically Reviewed by Cynthia V. Catchings LCSW-S
working vacation stress

We have all felt vacation fatigue. Whether you were out enjoying the beach or on a more fast paced adventure, returning from vacation can feel exhausting. Perhaps you start thinking about all the emails waiting for you, or the long to-do list of things around the house. It can almost feel like you need a vacation to recover from your vacation.

There are a few simple things you can do to minimize the stress that comes with returning from a vacation, and will leave you feeling much more relaxed and focused when heading back to work and personal life.

Give Yourself a Few Days

Depending on how much vacation time you have, many of us don’t allow much recovery and adjustment time when we get back from vacation. Too often, we are rushing right back to work the next day, or right after a weekend. Specifically if you have traveled to a more distant locale, across a few time zones, build a few days of recovery time into your vacation so that you feel rested and rejuvenated before you get back to the office.

Get Organized…Before You Go

Nothing is worse than getting back from vacation and coming home to a house or apartment that is disorganized and messy. You were so busy running around getting things in order for vacation, that you didn’t do those 3 loads of laundry that had piled up, and had neglected to clean the bathroom. Now that you’re home with a suitcase full of more laundry, you’re suddenly stressed by all that you didn’t accomplish before you left.

Try this — before you leave for vacation, take some time to ensure your space is neat and organized before you leave. This way, you arrive home to a clean house, one less thing to worry about and you can focus on mentally preparing for the return to work and life.

Delegate, Delegate, Delegate

There is never a perfect time to go on vacation. Something always comes up, whether it is a project deadline or client meeting. These obligations can sometimes make us feel guilty for heading out of the office. To minimize stress upon your return, it is a good idea to delegate tasks that cannot wait until you get back. Whether it is someone from your team or a trusted colleague, it will make you feel better upon your return to know that those urgent tasks were taken care of while you were out.

Check Your Calendar

A lot can happen while you are out on vacation, and you might find yourself returning to a calendar chock full of meetings you were unaware of. Take a few days before you return to work and check your calendar, so you’re not caught off guard — this will also help you mentally prepare for your return and help with time management. Overall this strategy will keep you organized and feeling positive about your return to work.

Set Boundaries

It’s also important to set boundaries around communication before you leave for your vacation. In order to maximize your time away and ensure you’re feeling relaxed upon your return, let your team know you will not be responding to emails or phone calls while you’re out. This will help you completely decompress, and ensure a smoother return.

In short, returning from vacation does not have to be stressful. It just takes some preparation and boundary setting to return to work refreshed and rejuvenated, ready to take on new projects with renewed clarity and focus.

Talkspace articles are written by experienced mental health-wellness contributors; they are grounded in scientific research and evidence-based practices. Articles are extensively reviewed by our team of clinical experts (therapists and psychiatrists of various specialties) to ensure content is accurate and on par with current industry standards.

Our goal at Talkspace is to provide the most up-to-date, valuable, and objective information on mental health-related topics in order to help readers make informed decisions.

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