Make the most of your vacation when you return to work

Marion, just back from her holiday, was surprised at how everything seemed different to her; she even had new ideas for a project she’d been working on before her break.

But it was only a matter of days when she again felt stressed, overwhelmed and less creative; how quickly that vacation glow evaporated!

Taking a break allows you to reset your stress levels and clear your mind of clutter. Doing something you enjoy increases your dopamine levels and helps re-balance your brain/body chemistry. It feels good and it’s good for you. Taking time out improves your physical health, mental health and boosts your happiness.

There are so many great benefits from taking that break.

And you can prolong those benefits if you put your mind to it.

How can you do this?

Consider these ideas before you jump back into a cortisol-inducing pace of work:

  • Plan mini brain-breaks during your day. Recognise the value in these breaks – they provide energy boosts, clarity of thought, improved performance and reduced stress levels. Block out and commit to breaks in your daily calendar.
  • With your fresh awareness, notice where your biggest sources of stress come from and see if you can do something about them. For example, don’t re-engage with particularly stressful people or projects or find a way to protect yourself from others’ toxic behaviours.
  • If you are dreading going back to work, pay attention to these feelings. This might be an indication that you didn’t get enough time off, or it might just be a message your work isn’t as rewarding as it could be. Maybe your job isn’t the right one for you.
  • Create a life-giving mindset. Are you already thinking that everything is up to you as you re-enter work?  Maybe this is a time to realise that you are not the saviour of your business.

Consider how the business survived without you while you were away. Who stepped up and managed some of your work?  Perhaps you could delegate more and they could do a bit more of that in the future.

  • Notice the mindsets that start coming back about needing to be perfect, comparing yourself to others or feeling that you have to get your next promotion as soon as possible. And instead of buying into those thoughts, decide that work is part of life.It’s great to love your work, but it doesn’t have to become your whole life.

The encouragement here is to reap the benefits of your break and retain some of the feel-good energy you gained on holiday; don’t throw yourself straight back into the fray. Take the opportunity to create different patterns for yourself.

Read more in these articles from different sources

The Importance of Taking Vacation Time to De-stress and Recharge by the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation.

From Forbes, Why Taking Vacation Time Could Save Your Life

From HBR, How Taking a Vacation Improves Your Well-Being

Rewired to Relate

Rewired to Relate

Rewired to Relate helps you deeply understand the connection between stress and reduced performance. You learn how emotional preferences contribute to stress and emotions and what you can do to manage them.

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