By: Jamey Powell
Whether you’ve escaped for a weekend wedding or scrounged up the time off and finances for a two-week Eurotrip, the best part about leaving home is coming back… if you’re ready, that is. Busy gals sometimes have a hard time logging off- I know that sometimes it doesn’t feel like I’ve completely gone on vacation until I’m re-boarding the plane. No matter how excited I am about the trip ahead, there’s usually an annoying voice in the back of my head saying the world is going on without me and I have a zillion things on my to do list. To combat this slightly psychopathic-vacation-killing version of myself, I try to dedicate a few minutes, either on my way out of town or on the way back, to make a rebound game plan. That way I can really let my hair down and know that it’ll all get done when I return. To (hopefully) make your life easier too, I’m sharing the 6 things I try to lock in for a smooth return to reality. Go ahead, enjoy every last mimosa. You might even look forward to coming home.
Grocery Shop ASAP
If you put your luggage down and walk into your kitchen to find a half-empty bottle of Sriracha, instant oatmeal and some sketchy bananas, odds are you’ll be spending money all week eating out. I know that lugging Trader Joe’s bags sounds like the worst possible task after traveling, but believe me, it’s worth it. Have some fun with meal planning on the plane! Get new recipe ideas to make adventuring to the store pay off in the kitchen. Sure, if you get in late, live your best life with that curry take-out or shameless instant oatmeal. The next morning, however, prioritize grocery shopping to stop the Seamless snowball before it starts. Your body and your wallet will thank you.
Plan Your Workouts
You don’t have to do anything new or crazy, just stick to things you do normally. Pick 3 days out of your return week and commit to them. If
spin class is your jam in a regular week, let your body enjoy its return to the bike. If you’re a yogi, leave your mat by the door where it can stare you down until you leave for class. Even better, get a friend involved for a sweatdate so you have more accountability. Enjoy the days off, too. Sometimes we leave town and feel like we need to punish our bodies for over-indulging. Not only is that mentality harsh for someone you love so much (you!) it’s also not sustainable. Just slide back into your workouts like you never left; I promise it’s mind over matter. If you trust the routine, your body will do the rest.
Make a Physical Check List
There is nothing more satisfying than crossing something off a to-do list. So, as the mileage between you and home starts to lessen, start making a physical list- either on your phone/tablet or the old-fashioned way of tasks you need to get done when you come home. Lists don’t cross themselves off, which is why they’re the OG keepers of accountability. They’re a friendly reminder to yourself (from yourself) of all those buzzy, noisy to-do’s in your head. Keep it simple: make a category for work, home, social, and fitness. If you’re feeling hardcore, you can even give yourself a “by when” for each task so when you check back in with your list, you maintain the intention you had when you started writing it. Disclaimer: Lists should make you feel better, not more stressed out. So if it’s turning you into a ball of anxiety on your train ride home, rip that sucker up and breathe. It’ll all get done one way or another.
Leave Time for Something Fun
Just because the vacation is over doesn’t mean you have to stop having a good time! Having an event you’re excited to attend or catch-up drinks with your bestie on the calendar before you leave is an easy way to remind yourself that the “real-world” isn’t all that bad. Bounce right back in your social scene fully armed with stories to tell of your adventures. There is no such thing as too much fun.
Sleep, Water, Sleep, Water, Sleep
Whether you’re coming from Thailand and have no idea what day it is in the US, or you just spent the weekend camping in the Adirondacks where you stayed up by the fire until 3 am every night, focus on getting back to your personal sleep schedule. Turn off your phone, or put it on “do not disturb” at the bedtime you’re used to at home. If you’re jetlagged and find yourself waking up at 4 am but don’t need to be awake until 7 am, try using an eye mask to trick your body into sleeping longer. If you feel exhausted by 8 pm because your body is still in London where it’s 1 am, sure, go to sleep if you can! The truth of the matter is that the jet lag struggle is real and everyone adjusts in their own way when returning home. Even if it’s only been a few days out of your routine, our bodies get thrown off quickly. What’s important is that you remember how valuable sleep is to your daily performance and overall health, so don’t feel guilty about shifting your life a little to get those extra z’s for a few days. Also, drink all the water. We get dehydrated so easily while traveling, so make sure to keep a water bottle handy at your desk and by your bed.
Be Flexible, Be Kind
Having said all this, remember to be flexible with yourself when you’re returning from your getaway. You’re a human being, so adhering completely to any sort of gameplan is always going to be tricky. Stay kind with yourself. Coming back to work is hard enough, so don’t make it harder by feeling like you need to do anything specific because you took time off. Just remember as you sit at your desk flipping through trip photos that you’re worth all the vacations in the world. Then, maybe start planning the next one.
Jamey Powell is a St. Louis native now living in Brooklyn. Once a musical theatre girl, she fell in love with the fitness community of New York and is now a yoga instructor, cycling instructor, and triathlete. When she’s not sweating, she’s probably eating, trying to pet someone’s dog, or chatting with friends over wine.