“I do love the beginning of the summer hols,’ said Julian. They always seem to stretch out ahead for ages and ages.’
‘They go so nice and slowly at first,’ said Anne, his little sister. ‘Then they start to gallop.” – Enid Blyton, ‘Five Go Off in A Caravan’
For the majority of us, the summer holidays have waved a warm farewell and the swing of normal life has resumed. I don’t know about you, but holidays always leave me with a great sense of renewed purpose and positivity. And, with that feeling held firmly in my chest, I always walk back into work thinking ‘I wonder how long this elated feeling will last’. The longest I have managed to stretch this supercharged feeling is about 10 days, the shortest, 10 minutes.
Once upon a time I was of the opinion that I had no use for holidays. However, these days I understand that the summer break exists for more than simple frivolity. It is, for me, unmatched in its ability to give the mind space and clarity; an opportunity to clear of unnecessary clutter and for your goals for the next year or so to emerge and settle in your consciousness. Keeping this feeling of optimism up when you resume your normal life can be hugely beneficial, but it can be quite challenging. Here are a few tips on how to carry your jolly holiday self back into your day to day to ensure your ongoing jollity and resilience.
1. Transition Time
Don’t hit the ground running straight away. I have, on a few occasions, landed back in Blighty in the early hours of the morning, gotten a few hours sleep and then jumped straight back into work. This can be a rude awakening; it’s a bit like knocking all of the air out of a carefully risen dough… everything ends up a bit dull and flat! Give yourself a day or so to prepare yourself for work. Get your washing, your house, your meal planning, your life admin all sorted before life gets going again. But most of all, mentally prepare yourself for the pressures you know are coming, and consider how you can use your newly decluttered mind to tackle them with deftness and resilience.
2. Declutter: Don’t Let Mess in Your Space Get You Down
Nothing kills my mood like returning to a messy house. Holiday happiness is a delicate thing and returning to a cluttered abode can bring it crashing down pretty quickly. Prepare for a comfortable return to home before you leave. A clean and fresh feeling home is just the thing you need to welcome your refreshed, relaxed self with open arms.
3. Keep The Treats Going
Periods of silence, nice food, refreshing swims, family time and ice creams needn’t stop as soon as you get home. Indeed, a holiday can be a reminder of things that you could do more of in your day to day life. Make time for these things as you go back to work. And the ‘make time’ part of this is vital. You cannot assume these things will happen, just because you liked them on holiday. Before you get caught up in the flurry of a working week, schedule time for these treats and moments of peace and connection.
It is sad when a holiday finishes. It is. But isn’t it wonderful that you were able to have that experience? When you return to work, try not to dwell on the fact that the holiday is over, but rather on the fact that it happened at all. A little gratitude here is a sure-fire way to keep you feeling light, positive and resilient throughout your return to work.
5. Start New and Inspired Habits Now
A holiday gives you time to think and be inspired about wonderful improvements for your life when you get back home. Don’t wait! When you get back initiate these plans as soon as you can. All too often the enthusiasm for these ideas wavers very quickly. So, initiate that new fitness routine, eating regime or hobby as soon as you return before you fall out of love with the idea. It’ll feel like a fresh new start. Resolutions aren’t just for the new year!
By Chris Thomson
For other tips on keeping your mood afloat, check out this post from last month: The Quest for Happiness: 5 Habits to Avoid
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