Today is my first day back in the office after a week-long vacation in the Smoky Mountains. Since our children are still in school, we do our best to capitalize on their schedule of spring and fall breaks. These vacation times together won’t last much longer with our oldest heading off to college this year, so we’re going to enjoy it while we can!
Sometimes when we come down off the vacation mountain, literally and figuratively, we find ourselves dreading the valley of getting back to work. We may feel refreshed in mind, body and spirit, but we know we’re going to jump back into the current of rushing water and try to start swimming the best we can. If you’ve ever experienced the post-vacation blues, here are a few suggestions to gear up your attitude and be ready to get back in the saddle with joy.
First, the way you leave for vacation will be a strong indicator of what you will face when you return from vacation. Not only should you prepare for your vacation, but you should also prepare for your re-entry to the work place. Plan out your first few days of post-vacation before you leave the office, so that when you return you already have your game plan laid out, and you’re ready to go.
Second, when you are on vacation, be on vacation. I had to force myself not to check emails and “keep up” with things while I was away. If you pre-planned your first few days of post-vacation, it gives you a greater peace of mind to let things lie dormant until you return. A vacation should be a time to “re-create,” which incudes more than eating out, spending money, and doing a lot of activities. It would be wise to include in your vacation time to unplug, be still, rest, listen, and renew your walk with the Lord and your family.
Third, when you return, give yourself a day, if possible, to transition from vacation back to work. If you get home on a Sunday night from a long trip, and you jump right back in with work on Monday morning, your mind, body and emotions will have a hard time making the jump with you. Take a twenty-four hour period to get caught up at home and vacate from your vacation before working on your work. Know that you will have some emotional ups and downs as you re-enter work, so navigate your re-entry through prayer and the joy of the Holy Spirit. That’s right; joy comes from the Holy Spirit. Happiness comes from happenstance. So you can recapture joy as you “keep in step with the Holy Spirit” (Galatians 5:25).
Lastly, approach your work re-entry with expectancy. Perhaps you can pray something like this: “Lord, thank You for the time away this past week. You have refreshed my heart and soul, and I am grateful. And now, Father, show me what You desire to do in and through me as a renewed child whom You love. Give me Your eyes to see the path before me, and may I be an instrument used for your glory in all things.” God spoke these words through Isaiah the prophet: “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43:19). What new thing does God want to do through you?