We’ve all been there. After all the excitement of an impending holiday and the endless planning that finally results in you and your family getting a much-needed break from the daily grind, you return home and, instead of feeling refreshed, you find yourself dealing with a post-holiday crash of epic proportions! Suddenly, the thought of getting everyone up and out of the house by 8am is enough to give you an ulcer. You feel your holiday spirits deflate when you go to pack tomorrow’s school lunches only to find the bags are still full of the now green-grey remnants of food from 2 weeks ago. You shudder at the thought of returning to work and sharing a small cubicle with Garlic Gord, and, on top of everything, you are buried in laundry, behind on your bills, and your calendar is completely full for the next two weeks. Good news for holiday-goers, a little thought and preparation can go a long way in preventing the dreaded post-holiday crash. The next time you are returning from holiday, do it with ease with these:
7 Simple Steps for Avoiding a Post-Holiday Crash
Before You Go:
1/ Notify Your Peeps
The last thing you need after a relaxing holiday is a lynch mob waiting for you upon your return, or worse, bothering you while you’re away. At work, let the appropriate people know that you will be gone and that you will be leaving your work mobile at home and your email on autoreply. Send your kids’ teachers, coaches, bus drivers, and school secretary an email letting them know not to expect to see the children’s smiling faces. Make arrangements with your house-sitter, and don’t forget to leave emergency contact information. Check your calendar for any weekly commitments or rogue appointments and cancel accordingly. Part of the magic of a holiday is falling off the radar for a bit, so tie up these loose ends before you go.
2/ Leave Your House and Affairs in Order
As your granny always said, “Proper preparation prevents poor performance.” And no one wants a poor performance on holiday! It’s definitely a challenge on top of all the preparation required to go on holiday, but GET AHEAD of the game any way you can before you go. Pay bills, clean the house or book a cleaner while you’re away, and put your nose the grindstone at work so you will not feel overwhelmed when you get back. Time doesn’t grow on trees in a busy household, so book yourself appropriate time to complete these extras even if that means taking an afternoon off or skipping the parent council meeting.
3/ Lactose-Free Milk and a Frozen Dinner
It is always helpful to have a meal or two at your disposal upon your return so you don’t have to rush out to the grocery store. Many families find milk a pressing purchase. Leave yourself an unopened carton of the lactose-free variety which tends to have quite an extended expiry date. Make sure there is something in the freezer that you can pull out and heat up on a minute’s notice. When you return, you’ll thank yourself for this extra bit of thought and the chance to get your feet underneath you before having to go out shopping.
When You Return:
4/ Give Yourself a Day
Arriving on a red-eye and expecting yourself to perform at full capacity the next day is a recipe for a disaster. Kids especially need some time to recoup and resettle after all the activity of a holiday. If possible, plan to get home at a decent hour or even give yourself a day or two if you need to turn your clock around. This ensures that you will have ample to time to deal with laundry, unpacking, tired kids, grocery shopping, and any last minute items that may crop up.
5/ Then Bite the Bullet
Once you’re home and unpacked, there’s no sense delaying the inevitable. Often the idea of getting back to the grindstone is far worse than the reality. Perhaps you will have to push through a harried morning while everyone is still operating on holiday time, but hopefully, for your kids, the excitement of getting to see their friends at school will overshadow their impending holiday blues. You’ll get to work and remember how Garlic Gord’s entertaining antics more than make up for any unpleasant odours and, hopefully, the preparation you did before leaving has put you in a good position to catch up on the rest.
6/ Dream of Your Next Getaway
Reality can be tough to face when it appears to be a monotony of the daily grind with no breaks in sight. Remind yourself that life is full breaks. Perhaps there is a friend’s wedding in the near future or the impending birth of new family member. Maybe you have a concert or night out to look forward to. It can be helpful to remember these things or even to book your next holiday so that you have something out-of-the-ordinary to look forward to.
7/ If a Crash Happens Anyway, Don’t Sweat it
Coming back down to earth isn’t always a smooth landing no matter how hard you may try to prepare yourself! If you find yourself getting down in spite of your best efforts…Own it. Make yourself a cup of tea, drown your sorrows in wine and Netflix, relish some home comfort, cry about it with an understanding friend, or take a sick day. The last thing you need is to feel bad about feeling bad. Chances are you’ve survived a crash in the past and lived to tell to tale. This time will be no different. Be patient with yourself and remember that post-holiday crashes happen to the best of us.
Wishing all of those returning from holiday the very smoothest landing when it comes time to return to reality.
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