Holidays, although they are an indispensable element in the life of any working person, also come with possible problems of which we must be aware. For example, the discomfort that occurs when one lands on the first day of returning to work unprepared psychologically, an experience that can significantly affect many people.
It is clear that as human beings we do not have absolute control over our emotions or our internal psychological processes in general, but it is also true that if we prepare ourselves with the necessary time, we can achieve reduce the likelihood that the return to working days will destabilize us or make us feel overwhelmed. Let’s see how to achieve this.
Tips for planning a return to routine after the holidays
When it comes to psychological readjustment before returning to work, it is important not to improvise by facing the situation right after the holidays are over. I want to say that the best is to plan from the first days of vacation, so that the “clash” between one situation and the other is not so strong due to the contrasts. Although it doesn’t require great effort (after all, holidays are for resting and letting go of a lot of our daily obligations), it is recommended that we adopt some simple strategies to prepare for our return.
How to do? Keep these tips in mind as you plan your return to routine.
1. Don’t neglect your sleep schedule
It is very important to properly regulate your biorhythms without letting the holidays disrupt your sleep schedule. That means do not go to bed very late on the days before resuming your work routine. And if we spend time getting up and waking up at odd times of the day, we should try to gradually return to the normal schedule, even if it makes us feel a little less rested for a few days (it will be better than arriving on the first day of work with barely any sleep).
2. If you’re going on a trip, don’t come back on your last day off
In case you have a relatively long vacation period and travel to another region or country, it is recommended not to return to your place of residence on the last day of vacation; it is better that in any case you do it a day or two before the end.
In this way, the experience of psychologically “reintegrating” into your city and the places you usually frequent will be less shocking. It should be noted that during the holidays your brain has weakened the memories linked to the small details of your daily life (for example, where to find certain objects in your house), and although individually these small mistakes or reasons do not confuse us, if they all happen to us at the same time, it can be stressful.
On the other hand, creating a cushion of time between travel and returning to work is also a way to get into the mindset of focusing on work goals before having to tackle them immediately. which helps to motivate oneself gradually without reaching to associate these concepts with the discomfort of not being ready to start working now.
3. Readjust your hobbies and interests to give them post-holiday continuity
Make sure that your new lifestyle after returning to the routine still has “holes” for several daily or weekly moments that you can devote yourself to what you love and what you devoted yourself to the most during the holidays. In this way, there will not be so much difference between these holiday days and working days.
4. Prepare at least the tasks to be done during the first week
Another way to cushion the return to routine is to create an agenda detailing the sequence of actions that we will perform on the first morning of the first day. It is something that does not take much time or effort, and in this way you will face the first hours knowing at all times what to spend the next few minutes on, something key to focus on specific goals and not be intimidated by this apparent mountain of tasks that we have before us.
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- Gollwitzer, Peter & Brandstätter, Veronika. (1997). Implementation intentions and effective pursuit of goals. First ed. in: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 73 (1997), 1, pp. 186-199.
- Morgenstern, J. (2004). Inside-out time management: the foolproof system for taking control of your schedule and your life. New York: Henry Holt/Owl Books.
- OnlineWulf S. (2012). Work-related illnesses. Biomedical therapy.