What are the characteristics of a successful re-entry after a long vacation from regular routines?
I’ve just returned from an extended vacation in South Africa. I face the challenge of adjusting to life in Canada with mixed emotions. Coming home makes me happy but I’m overwhelmed with all the tasks that need attention.
Because coming home from vacation means a transition back into the habits and patterns of home life, I’ve planned a few catch up days to ease back into home routines.
There are many ways to readjust to regular routines. I’ve identified the strategies I’m using to help the process of easing back into a normal lifestyle after a vacation break.
Taking some ‘me time’. Coming home means a myriad of small tasks to tackle plus unpacking, laundry, re-stocking the fridge, and sorting through a stack of mail.
The return trip from my recent vacation took 24 hours which left me with a good case of jet lag. When I landed, my body felt like it was still hurtling through space so I realized that I could not get back into all my routines immediately.
Taking a few days of ‘me’ time means that I won’t stress myself with commitments or a busy schedule.
Paying attention to diet and nutrition. When you’ve indulged in too many unfamiliar foods or rich treats while on vacation, your body will thank you for eating things that are easy to digest during the first few days at home.
Long haul flights and aircraft food create havoc with bodies causing water retention and occasional digestive issues. You will naturally recalibrate by drinking healthy fluids.
My favourite remedy to restore energy is drinking green tea. I also try to avoid alcohol and soft drinks.
Catching up with family. Your people have missed you and you have missed them. Re-connecting with those you love is part of the joy of returning home.
When I saw my husband’s eyes light up as he saw me enter the arrivals lounge at Pearson Airport, I felt a new surge of love for him.
Sharing special stories, gifts and memorabilia gathered during travels is part of coming home.
Returning to exercise routines. A gradual return to physical activity reduces jet lag and helps energy levels to recover. During the 5 weeks that I travelled there were many restrictions on physical activity as walking alone in most of the places we visited was too dangerous. There are limits on how much exercise is possible in a gated courtyard or an indoor mall.
Upon return home, I began exercising again with the luxury of a 45 minute walk in my neighbourhood. Within 24 hours, I got back to the gym, yoga and aquatic routines that sustain my fitness.
Reviewing emails and snail mail. This is one of the tasks that I dislike most. Prior to leaving on vacation, I ‘un-subscribed’ from most electronic newsletters and emails. On return, my strategy has been to scan and delete most emails with a resolution to resist re-subscribing.
Most of the mail from Canada Post is junk but tax information, credit card change notices and investment circulars need some review. I confess that I’ve set some of this aside until my head clears.
Taking time to get re-oriented to your home culture. After being away from home for a chunk of time, there will be changes to catch up on.
During my vacation, the province where I live had a general election; my garden sprouted into its summer glory; and my grand-daughter started going to day care!
When I got into my car, I had to re-orient myself to a left-hand drive.
My neighbours were eager to engage in chit-chat and give the neighbourhood news updates.
Vacations always give new perspectives on life.
Taking enough time for a positive re-entry anchors new outlooks, causes examination of established attitudes, and refreshes the psyche.
Soon enough I’ll be back to regular routines but for a few days, I’m taking the luxury of time to readjust.
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