We say it every year.... 'I can't believe summer's coming to an end!'
We've still got Labor Day weekend to go, but the end of summer blues are probably coming.
Even if you like your job, the switch to fall and potentially more intense work schedules can be tough. Especially if you've just finished a fantastic vacation.
I’m not going to pretend that with a few easy steps you’ll magically not be sad your vacation is over. But there are a few things I do that help ease the letdown.
The First Few Days Back
The number one thing I always do - even before I head out for the vacation - is make sure I’ve got dinner or drinks with a close friend planned within the first few days of getting back.
It’s a great chance to tell them all about your trip, hear about how their summer was, and enjoy their company.
If you’re a super social person, plan a few dinners or drinks in the first week back so you have a few social engagements to get excited about.
Take Something Home
I try not to buy anything when I’m on vacation, but often I’ll get some kind of unique food to enjoy for a week or so when I’m first home.
Last summer I brought home lots of cherry products from the Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Michigan. Or a big gallon of maple syrup from Vermont. Or some quality teas from the UK or India. Hmmm... guess I’ve got an edible theme going on.
Seriously though, I’m guessing there’s some sort of food that’s special to you when you’re vacationing that you could take a piece of with you to enjoy a little longer. And if it’s not food that gets you excited, maybe a new book or something special from the region you’re visiting might make you feel like a part of your trip can linger with you a little longer.
Pick Something To Escape Into
If you like your alone time on the couch this is one for you…
Decide on a TV show or book ahead of time you’ve wanted to get into and plan for some binge watching sessions or hours of reading when you get back.
You’re probably not watching lots of TV when you’re on vacation, so if you love TV, this is a fun thing to look forward to. Plus, there are so many great shows people are raving about right now.
Master of None, Billions, Big Little Lies, The Americans… these are all on my list. What’s on yours?
Re-Live Your Vaca With Photos
If you took selfies or sunset photos by the beach, revisit them. Upload them, pick the top ones and put an album together. Share them with friends on Facebook or Instagram and write fun captions for them.
One of the things my husband and I always do after a vacation is make a ‘Best Of’ album with the best photos from the trip and then pick one to get framed. We have a whole wall of photos from our travels that are super fun to look back at and tell others about when they come over to our apartment. It keeps the trip top of mind and you remember the great moments with a visual present.
Plan Something To Look Forward To
Maybe time away and some reflection made you think about wanting to take a language class, or do a yoga certification, or maybe even work with a career coach!
Sign up while you’re still on vacation to have something planned and on your schedule to get excited about.
Did you just love the pillows from your hotel room? Did you enjoy exploring neighborhoods? Or did you have the most amazing meal somewhere?
If there’s something from your vacation that you really loved, is there a way to recreate it at home? The meal you make might not be as great as the one you had in the fancy restaurant, but it might be fun trying to recreate it. Is there a neighborhood near you that you’ve never been to? Take the same curiosity you had while on vacation to explore a new place near home. Or head to the bedding stores nearby and search for the perfect pillow that compares to the one you had in your hotel.
These things probably wouldn’t measure up because it’s just never as great as it is on vacation, so make sure your expectations aren’t too high, but you never know how much you might enjoy trying to recreate or try some new things that make you think of your trip.
Start Planning Your Next Vacation
Just because you just got back from one doesn’t mean you can’t start thinking about and planning your next vacation!
Take yourself to your local bookstore (or library even!) and browse the travel section. Flip through travel guides that get you excited and pick your next destination. Figure out when your next opportunity might be to take some time off and get the dates on your calendar and cleared with your manager. Even if it’s 6 or 9 months away - that doesn’t mean you can’t get excited about it and paint that future picture.
Need some ideas for future travel plans? Start with thinking about whether you want an adventure or relaxation. Or both!
Got other ideas? List them in the comments below!