By Anastasia Warren
You just spent the last few days soaking up the sun with your toes in the sand. Or maybe, you took a week to relax at home and get caught up around the house.
Whatever you did, it was vacation – time off while your workplace continued to do business. Getting ready to take time off proved to be busy, and at times even stressful, but you finally made it to your cherished days away from the office.
But now, it’s time to re-enter the workplace. To walk through the doors, say hello to your co-workers, and yes, open your email inbox (if you haven’t been peeping throughout your vacation already).
Time off from work is an essential part to your growth, both personally and professionally. It shouldn’t be an overly stressful event. In fact, it should leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated to begin working again.
So how do you re-enter the work grind, in order to maximize the benefits of your time off and minimize your stress? By following these six simple steps.
- Have a calm morning.
Set your alarm a tad early on the day of your return. Make a good cup of coffee. Eat a healthy breakfast. Take your time and maintain a sense of calm. Go over the things you are grateful for and start your day off right.
- Get an early start.
After you’ve spent your morning calmly preparing for your day, make sure you leave a little early. Get to the office a few minutes earlier than normal – you can spend this time getting ready to face the reality of your workload and get a jump start on the catch up game.
- Take time for yourself.
At the beginning of your day, take an hour or so to go through your emails, go through pending projects, and create a prioritized to-do list for the day. A “catch up” plan is now in place, and you can proceed with less stress knowing that you are not missing anything.
- Let others know that it is on your list.
Depending on your position, when you return to the office you may be in high demand. Everyone will want to talk to you about pending projects or needed decisions that they were waiting on until you returned. It’s OK to tell co-workers that it is in on your radar, that it is a priority, but that you are working on numerous things at the moment as you re-acclimate and that you will get to it in due time. Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize. It’s OK.
- Get your workout or other “me time” in.
Just because it’s your first crazy day back, doesn’t mean you should skimp on your routine. In fact, it is essential to re-entering with as little stress as possible. Normally workout on your lunch break? Workout on your lunch break. Normally take two walks around the block a day to clear your head? Take two walks around the block to clear your head. You’ll thank yourself for it.
Let me guess, no ball was dropped, no account was lost – everything is OK, even though you took some time away. Yes, your to-do list seems daunting. Yes, everyone has a new project for you. Take a deep breath and remember that you deserved your vacation, and everything will be back to normal in a few short and busy days.