Returning to Work Vacation Blues
September 28, 2019 9:22 PM   Subscribe

About half-way through a trip (as I am now) I feel down about my impending return to work, because I don't want to get sucked back into the world I don't realize I'm in when I'm in the grind, a world which I likely won't be able to discern again until next vacation. Obviously general despair is not a good strategy - how else could I handle this?
posted by 7 Minutes of Madness to Work & Money (7 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
There isn’t a lot of information to go on but it strikes me that when you are not on vacation you are not finding enough time/money for pleasure. I can understand if your job is a grind, and I don’t blame you if you feel that way about household chores, but could you help yourself by examining when you have fun, and how you can build regular fun and pleasure into your life eg. at weekends to sustain you between vacations?
posted by EatMyHat at 10:04 PM on September 28, 2019

Look into ways to cultivate mindfulness, like meditation. This is not a glib answer- I struggle with exactly this!
posted by cakelite at 10:04 PM on September 28, 2019

I usually have a rule to stop thinking about work while on vacation (just got back myself). It does no good to dwell on having to go back to the shit before you absolutely have to.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:29 PM on September 28, 2019

What is it about the work world or work mindset that upsets you? Time for spontaneity, anxiety/loss of perspective, disliking the actual tasks? If you can pinpoint it more closely you may be able to find ways to reduce it.
posted by Lady Li at 1:00 AM on September 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

Although I never had much luck staying on vacation until the very end, I always took some solace in the fact that my head was already on vacation for a while before I left.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 2:11 AM on September 29, 2019 [5 favorites]

Once you get back, set aside a day to structure your schedule going forward. Part of having good work life/balance is learning how to hold the line to prevent work encroaching on life time, and if that’s not natural to you it helps to have a strong schedule to coach yourself into it. Some people feel guilty setting a hard time to leave the office if they aren’t leaving for a social event, but it’s just as valid to leave the office at 6 PM on the dot because you have plans to cook yourself dinner from 6:30-7, so that you can do yoga from 7-8, and have enough free time form 8-10 that you are ready for sleep by 10 (or whatever). If you can’t get away with leaving your work email alone when you’re out of the office, pick one or two specific times when you’ll check it every night and leave it alone otherwise.

Also, pick out one or two specific things you do on vacation that make you feel freer and incorporate those into your daily or weekly routine. I love waking up early on vacation and going for coffee or breakfast in a new place, sitting and observing the people where I am. It feels luxurious to do this when you’re at home, but you can easily do it!
posted by sallybrown at 6:39 AM on September 29, 2019 [2 favorites]

If you can, take a day off between 'vacation' and 'work' so you aren't jumping straight back in after a trip.

It also helps to do some cleaning before you leave. Coming back to clean dishes and fresh linens is very nice.
posted by Diskeater at 10:39 AM on September 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

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