What’s Your Vision Of Returning To Work?

Ah, September. The promise of cooler temperatures, the kids back in school, pumpkin-spice everything and a return to routine. For some, normalcy after a busy summer is a relief. But for others, it can be a big challenge after time off and a period of rest and relaxation. This year may be particularly difficult, since many of us were able to enjoy a vacation after a few years of less (or no) travel. Now that Labor Day weekend is over and the first week of September is behind us, how do we battle the “back-to-work blues” and get back into a productive routine?

Your vision of returning to the office and the reality are probably two different things. Vacation is supposed to be rejuvenating and invigorating, but one look at an overflowing inbox can really dim your enthusiasm. And that’s completely natural. The human brain adapts pretty quickly to what is considered “normal.” For those on vacation, that can mean altered sleeping schedules, greater freedom and more food and drink. Here are a few tips to help once it’s back to business as usual:

  • Ease back into a normal sleep schedule: We talk about this a lot for kids returning to school, but the same advice holds for adults too. If you were a night owl and sleeping in during your vacation, it can take some time to get back to a normal sleep/wake schedule. Start to dial back your nocturnal habits to get back to your typical bedtime. Your morning self will thank you for it!
  • Start slow: For the first few days, tackle the absolutes on your to-do list and leave it at that. Trying to force motivation often backfires and can leave most people in a worse state than when they started. Tiny victories are what many need to work up to tackling larger tasks.
  • Incorporate some “vacation” into your life: Did you go for daily walks in nature while away? Did you try an amazing dish you’d like to learn to cook at home? Try a new wine you loved? Experiences shouldn’t be saved just for vacation. Adding them into your home life can help you relive those fun and invigorating moments.
  • Give yourself some grace: This may be the most important advice of all. Laundry may sit for an extra few days. It might take you longer to complete tasks. That’s okay. Beating yourself up over not getting back to your typical level of productivity immediately isn’t helpful.
  • Talk it out: If you find yourself in a prolonged funk after vacation, talking with a coach can be incredibly beneficial. A coach can offer advice to help you beat the post-vacation blues and come back to work feeling refreshed and motivated. If you often feel unenthusiastic and lack productivity after time off, a coach can help you get to the root causes of why you’re feeling this way and work with you to overcome them.

Vacations are supposed to be a significant boost to our overall health and wellbeing. Yet, so many of us struggle with getting back into the groove of work, life and routine after returning. September doesn’t have to be the cruelest month. If you need help getting motivated after time away from the office, Leah M Joppy and Associates is ready to help. Call us at 301-670-0051 or email

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Leah M. Joppy & Associates

Derwood, MD 20855

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