During a vacation, most likely you’re relaxed and carefree, but all too often, you will go back to your “real life” and return to your feelings of stress and pressure. What if there were ways you could stretch that relaxed mindset to enjoy your life, post-vacation?
Not only is it possible, it can be done with just a little bit of effort.
We’ve asked experts about how to keep your vacation glow when you return back to your reality.
Here’s how to hang on to your vacation mindset:
Take shorter trips
According to results from an Enterprise Rent-A-Car survey, two factors that contribute greatly to peoples’ stress levels are the planning of a long vacation and then getting back into the work routine once the vacation ends. Naturally, the longer and bigger the trip, the more extensive the planning and as a result, stress levels increase.
“The remedy and what has worked well for my clients is taking more frequent but shorter trips: weekend getaways, for example,” says Jonathan Alpert, a Manhattan psychotherapist, performance coach, and author of Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days.
Alpert says smaller breaks are easier to take than one long vacation and it’s easier to disconnect on a shorter trip than on a longer one.
“Less time away means less worry,” he continues. “While on a long vacation people often feel anxious about being away from home and work. By contrast, a ‘small-cation’ is less time away from the office and home, so less stress.”
Apply your vacation epiphanies to your “real” life
Creating genuine connections during your vacation creates memories and makes your trip meaningful, says Michael Brein, aka The Travel Psychologist, who is an author, lecturer, and publisher of travel books and guides.
“It is our interactions with local people and other visitors that stick with us most—the people we meet and talk with in cafes and get to know; those with him we have shared experiences; the locals we meet in the shops and markets,” he says. “The more connections we feel with others, the more we tend to feel that our vacations ‘glowed’ for us.”
After your trip, keep that mindset going, and apply what you bring back from a vacation to your home environment, Brein says.
Create a “happiness inventory” of your trip
To extend the “glow” and good vibes of vacation, Rachel Sheerin, a speaker and trainer who specializes in sales and happiness in the hospitality industry, suggests take stock of what it was about vacation that recharged you.
Whether it was getting more sleep, trying new experiences, or reconnecting with your partner, it’s important to appreciate the time away.
“Identify what fills you up [so] you can take stock of your current situation and look for ways to infuse these motivators and energy-giving things into your day-to-day,” Sheerin says. “No one can love, motivate or keep the good vibes going like you can for yourself.”
Start planning your next getaway
To keep your post vacation glow going, think about your next escape. It will help keep your spirits up and motivate you to keep striving at work and home.
“Put a picture of your next destination as your desktop wallpaper,” suggests Jen Ruiz, a lawyer and travel blogger. In addition, in your spare time, try and find out more about the new location. “Research and plan out the best things to do,” she adds.