SAME. I feel your pain. Nothing says, “Good morning Lauren, are you ready to jump back into reality?” more than a late alarm, cold shower, missing shoes, missing keys, broken heat, and unpaid bills. That is what I woke up to Monday morning after a long time off of work between the holidays of Christmas and New Years. “How lucky,” one might say. And to be honest, I know it is a privilege to be able to enjoy a whole week off from work, as some people cannot take time off. That being said, Monday morning felt a bit more like badluck, if you will. (If you will what? I always get confused with that phrase, yet continue to use it. Everyone else throws it so nonchalantly into conversations, why cant I?)
Whether you went on a vacation to a super tropical island, skied in the below zero temperatures, or stayed at home with family and friends, I think you can relate to my Monday morning. We all prepare months, if not a year in advance for this epic December month. The transition from stress to relaxation, we await. Thanksgiving excitedly flows to Christmas shopping, which so quickly leads to Christmas, and all the presents are ripped open in minutes. The crazy build up to this special day is less than anti-climactic in my opinion. And thus we are left to immerse ourselves in overeating and football.
Rewind. Before you start planning for December 2015, lets talk about how you can AVOID the post-stress. Hmm.. I should take my own advice.
Just like everyone else, I plan my Christmas gift selections very much in advance. Planning out who will get what and from where (I have a budget so I start fairly early, yay). But as much planning as we put into our presents, family time, and vacation, that effort should be put into the aftermath, the post-vacation, if you will.
1. All that cooking you are doing the week or two before your vacation/ break/ Christmas/ etc., make extra every night so you can freeze dinners. This will be helpful on Christmas when your child screams that they HATE ham and demand pasta sauce. It’s also very helpful to know that when you come home from a long vacation, you don’t have to cook a single thing. Unless you consider pressing “ON” on the microwave to fall under the realm of cooking (are you still in college?) Imagine walking into your house, everyone is jet lagged/ tired and you walk to the freezer, pull out a few frozen tubs of homemade white pizza and you’re set!
2. Do Not Plan To Come Home On Sunday. Trust me, I wanted that one extra day tanning, too. But you’ll thank me when you decide to come home on a Friday/ Saturday and you realize the next day is still the weekend. This frees up your time to settle down, unpack, figure out what needs to be done for the week, etc.
3. Bring Your Work With You? This is just a personal preference so please don’t hate me. I actually do believe in time off consisting of NO WORK. However, in my industry of business, it’s not that easy. Customers and employees are always emailing/ calling/ leaving messages. I would rather find some down time while I’m on vacation, even just for ten minutes to clean out my inbox or update a spreadsheet. This way I don’t come back to work Monday morning with an overwhelming 300 emails. YIKES.
4. Toward the end of the vacation, try to start reintroducing your old schedule into your life. This means less, or no alcohol (for you partiers!) and a more regulated sleep pattern (especially if you are in a different time zone… or you tend to be nocturnal). Get up early. Start your day how you would before work to familiarize the body. Habits/ repetition are super important because the body subconsciously associates schedules/ settings with our actions (ex. Doing work in bed might make you super sleepy because your body knows the bed is for sleeping in)
Now that I just told everyone else what to do, maybe I should stop complaining about my terrible Monday morning and take my own advice.