A fabulous trip away to somewhere tropical/relaxing/exciting/adventurous that made you feel ecstatic/in love/rejuvenated/calm. And now you have returned home . . . but almost all of you wants to be away and still on vacation. Don't get me wrong, home is where the heart is, but sometimes that heart needs a change or a rest.
Today, I'm writing this post for me and for you. I've had this blog window open, ready to write all about how I bounced back into real life, since we, my husband and I (sans kids) returned from a whirlwind trip to New York City with friends nearly ten days ago. My pal, Emer, and I had always imagined that we'd celebrate our 40th birthdays in NYC together. Emer and I are long-time friends, but an ocean has kept us away from frequent visits, she being a native-born Irish beauty, now living back home, married, with three little boys. However, all the planets did align, and we were somehow able to make a grand double date of a 3-day weekend and take on the town.
So, in writing this for the both of us, I did some searching around to see how other good people kick themselves back into gear. The Happy Gal has ideas for how to keep your family on track and your home in order before and after vacation. These are awesome and ambitious. Road Warrior Voices has a great idea to return from your trip a day early to give yourself time to do laundry and to ease back into routine. The site has a useful list of ideas for longer vacations but one not quite as practical for a long weekend vacation.
Here are my top four ideas to get you back into your groove after a wonderful time away:
1. Remember that this does not have to be the only trip and plan for the next:
Perhaps you might be feeling a sense of disappointment, the post-Christmas blues sort of feeling, that now the time you'd be looking forward to is over. Plan the next time for wonderful! Whether it's a 2-week international excursion or a quick roadtrip away, give yourself something new (and doable) to look forward to! It's good for the mojo and keeps you pushing forward, rather than looking behind.
2. Capture a memory or experience in a special way and keep it in front of you:
Souvenir shops are big money makers for a reason! Whether you found something(s) precious on your journey or snapped oodles of photos, make sure that you put those reminders in prominent places in your life. By this I DON'T mean your display shelf. Pop a silly photo in your wallet or pin the cute card to your bulletin board at work. Walgreen's has great deals on black-and-white, super large prints if you want to plaster something large on your wall. Chatbooks are my new favorite way to capture your Instagram photos in a beautiful way!
3. Get (back) to sleep and healthy eating:
Upon returning home, I was hit with a sinus infection *BOOM* which, in turn, prompted me to eat less healthy (what, Sonic burgers don't cure sinus headaches?). Being under the weather did force me to sleep more, which was helpful as I don't sleep much before trips (trying to get everything together) or on them (trying to enjoy every moment). I also allow myself to indulge in high calorie decadence when I'm traveling so I usually come home feeling full-er than I left so returning to salads and green smoothies has helped everything feel back on track.
4. Find small ways to relive the experience and share it with those around you:
What was the best part of your trip? The deep sea diving? The long stroll along the river bank? The amazing book you were finally able to read? Share those!! While no one REALLY wants to see all of your vacation photos, your coworker might be looking to hear about a great, new location to visit or your neighbor enjoy the book recommendation. And seeing them experience something you loved helps amplify the joy of the journey, too. Even simple things like texting a photo of your vacation time together can help transport your loved one back to a beautiful memory.
When was the last time you spent some time away? Even if it's only for an afternoon, you'll be surprised by how much joy you can sustain from the experience!