How to Returning to Work from Vacation Without All the Stress

Taking time off from your job is a blessing, but when you return, it can feel more like a curse. Everyone likes to feel needed, but when the evidence is 237 unread emails in your inbox, you can quickly become overwhelmed. Here are some tips for how to return from vacation without all the stress in Havre, MT:

  • Set an out-of-office voicemail and auto-reply: The last thing you need is to come back to angry or panicked clients. Make sure you let people know that you’re out of the office and when to expect your return. Choose a colleague who will handle emergencies, and list their email (assuming they agree) in your auto response.
  • Delegate responsibilities before you go: If there’s anything that can’t wait until you return, delegate those responsibilities to a trusted colleague before you leave. Ideally, this should be the person who agrees to be listed in your out-of-office messages. That way, you won’t come home to a plethora of “urgent” tasks.
  • Schedule a buffer day: If possible, take at least one buffer day between when you return home and when you come back to work. This will give you a chance to rest, catch up on your household responsibilities and feel less harried from travel.
  • Ask for an update the day before you return: Depending on your relationship with your manager or colleagues, you might ask them to send you an update right before you return. That way, you’ll come to work prepared to deal with any new challenges that have cropped up—or better, the knowledge that everything went smoothly in your absence.
  • Check your work calendar ahead of time: Before you go to work, check your calendar. This will help you avoid being surprised by meetings or deadlines that you might have forgotten about during your time off.
  • Take it easy on your body: Coming back to work after vacation is not the time to start a new exercise routine, juice cleanse or other dramatic lifestyle change. While you might feel guilty for your vacation indulgences, dealing with jet lag, exhaustion and travel stress are not conducive to starting new habits. Give it a few days before you dive in.
  • Clean your desk before and after: If you have time, take a few minutes before you leave to straighten up your desk. Make it possible for your colleagues to find what they need (without having to dig through your secret snack drawer). Upon your return, sort through anything people may have left for you, like folders, sticky notes, phone messages and more. A clean, organized desk helps reduce mental clutter and the stress that goes along with it.

With some careful planning and preparation, returning to work after vacation can be something you look forward to, rather than dread.

If you need help coping with back-to-work stress in Havre, MT, reach out to Ellen Savage LCPC today. Scheduling a counseling appointment is a healthy way to cope with challenges in the office, at home and beyond.