Smooth Return After The Holidays
This summer, I decided to do a staycation! The early roasting weather in May and June made me forget that summer in the UK can be a little wet. I am a “make-the-most-of-it” gal, so most of my summer has been glued to the weather app, dodging the rain, grabbing pockets of dry weather and sunshine when I can, and completing my outside jobs, tasks and chores.
In my first week back, some clients shared that they felt a sticky transition return after the holiday season.
I put my thinking cap on and put together five simple reminders, actionable pillars you can put in play to support yourself. Here are my five reminders to help you ease back into your career and business after the summer holidays while maintaining balance and focus –
Plan Ahead – I’m not going to fib here; I did sneak back into work towards the end of the holidays to get myself a little organised, clear down the inbox, and make a list of what I could see was already on my desk. I don’t think anybody should do this in the holidays, but this is a big part of my having a good transition after a holiday. If that works for you, try it. Blocking off at least 1-2 hours on the Thursday pre-return and not getting into anything deep helps. Top tip – If you try this, do it in the morning, leaving the rest of your day free for back-to-holiday focus. And never on a Sunday – keep Sundays sacred to resting, relaxing and having fun! Set clear goals and prioritise tasks – get clear on your urgent and important, followed by your important and non-urgent, focusing on what you can delegate. Get that list down as soon as possible! Making a to-do list for the first few days back to help you stay organised and focused will be a game changer.
Clear boundaries around start and finish time – Be clear on when you start work and when you will finish. Keeping these boundaries for a couple of weeks back will help with overwhelm. People often say, “It feels like I’ve not had any time off.” – this is sometimes down to us not creating a plan and firm boundaries around our return. I want the holiday-feels to stay with you as long as possible – that’s the sweet spot we aim for. Boundaries will help you avoid feeling overwhelmed and maintain a work-life balance.
Healthy Routine – Returning to a healthy routine after the relaxed state of affairs of the summer season is essential – I can’t say it any other way. I bang on about sleep being the foundation of health – setting regular sleep patterns on the first day of return and sticking with it will help ease you into the Autumn season. Think about your circadian rhythm; there is so much research out there about the importance of getting that first morning light into your body. Bonus points if you do this by going for a walk before the morning routine and rush sets in. If that’s not possible, finding your house’s lightest window and getting 15 minutes of light into you first thing can be incredible. I found my spot to do this. Yes, it means I have to get up 15 minutes earlier to have these moments of light; being somebody who has had a lifelong history of poor sleep, the morning light is one of the essential parts of the puzzle to help me sleep through.
Think about incorporating exercise, movement, and maintaining balanced meals. (Quick side note: I’m two years into having Mindful Chef help me maintain a healthy diet – you can try them HERE and get 20% off your first four weeks.) A balanced body supports a focused mind – which will help you return to work.
Digital Detox – You’ve made your priority list; you know the first week’s focus. It’s time to hit up the inbox. Delete anything that’s not relevant to your work week. Then, delegate emails that you can, clear down that inbox as quickly as possible. The overwhelm of an overflowing inbox can stop us in our tracks before we get started. Tackle it head-on, and you will thank yourself for it by the end of the day. Nobody has ever said to me that they regretted clearing the inbox! In the first two weeks back, I also suggest limiting your exposure to your personal social media platforms. It can be so distracting you can lose hours of your vital week going down the rabbit hole of an Instagram/TikTok video. Again, nobody has EVER told me they’ve regretted having a digital detox from their social media channels, especially when the pressure is on to make headway into the last push of the year. Think about switching off your notifications during the first day or two, allowing you to focus on important tasks without feeling overwhelmed.
Review and Reflect – You have a week or two under your belt; it’s time to review your progress. Reflect on what happened before the holidays and what you want to achieve. The most important thing (that many people miss!) is making a list of all the GREAT things you’ve achieved this year so far. Anchor those achievements to help move you through the last of the year. I did a quick revenue review with one of my clients this week – by not focusing on what sometimes feels hard, she’d missed the significant fact that her efforts were paying off. She had ALREADY achieved her better financial revenue goal for 2023 with four more months to go. She SMASHED it. Realising that gave her the impetus to keep going and doing what she was doing – it was paying off. Review and reflect will help you regain a sense of purpose and direction.
The key is to find a pace that works for you and to give yourself some grace as you transition back into your routine.
The mantra for the month is, “There is nothing in my diary that I don’t know how to do. I am good to great at it all.”
I am excited for the last push of the year. You’ve got this!