How to Transition from Vacation Back to “Real Life”

Ski VacationWhew! The holidays lasted forever, didn’t they?  Either you were on a long vacation, or you came back to work sporadically over the holidays, including three days this week.

I don’t know about you, but I crave routine. It’s one of the idiosyncrasies of my life. When there is structure and routine, I crave adventure and spontaneity. When my time is primarily leisure time, then I long for the days where I’m certain that I’ll get up at 5:45, be at work at 7, and have chicken stir fry for dinner.

I had a fantastic time at my parents’ house for Christmas.

An amazing time out on New Year’s Eve.

Heck, I even played tour guide for a friend from out of town and showed off my city, which is one of my favorite pastimes.

But then, after not enough sleep, and more than enough work, I hit the weekend exhausted.

And I realized that I need rituals to transition back to ordinary time.


How I Transitioned Back to Real Life:

  • Take down all Christmas decor
  • Deep clean my home
  • Start on the resolutions. Both weekend days started with yoga
  • Restock the refrigerator
  • Clear out the holiday goodies — take them to work or donate them
  • Hang my 2013 calendar
  • Go to bed early
  • Get up early
  • Schedule exercise on the calendar. Make space for it, otherwise life will infill and I will feel like I don’t have time. In 2013, I will practice yoga 4-5 times a week. Two are already on the calendar, and the rest can float, as my schedule permits
  • Start a meditation practice. Quieting my mind and paying attention to where it wanders once or twice a day will help keep me grounded as I push forward into the new year

When I got to work on Monday, I brought in all my unwanted snacks, which made my coworkers happy, and made me feel light and free.

Now, we’re just a few days into ordinary time, and I’ve found my rhythm again.


The Holidays Help with the Transition

One thing I noticed is that having the holidays break up my “normal life” into holiday time, where I can’t even figure out what day of the week it is, really helps with the resolution-setting that goes along with learning how to write 2013 on my checks.

Because I can get back into the office, stare at a blank piece of paper, and transform it into my 2013 life.

Planning helps me feel as though I’m in charge of this year.

Whether that proves to be true is another story entirely, but having the plan helps keep me sane.

Here’s a fun fact about 2013: it’s the first year since 1987 that all four digits are different.

Do you have any rituals, or was it easy to transition into real life on Monday?

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  1. says

    We do many of the same things to get back on track. What made this year worse was the Holidays themselves falling on the days they did. So, it resulted in coming back in the middle of the week which I hate. The nice thing about that though is that we had a few days to get back to the routine before we got to the weekend. :)

  2. says

    I haven’t had a real Monday in over three years but need to follow some of your tricks to get focused sometimes! Getting a sleep routine back certainly helps, as well as a deep clean to start on a clean slate.

  3. says

    My three days back at work this week weren’t too bad! My first full week starts tomorrow so we’ll see how I’m feeling after that. I’m glad I chose to come back early and ease into things before it’s back into the real routine on Monday.

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