14 Jan How to get back into daily habits after the holidays?
I’ll give you some basic ideas to come back from your next holidays.
The return from the holidays and the starting off of the daily routine can sometimes feel almost impossible. During my recent holidays, I have analyzed the situation to return to my daily routine gradually in an easier and efficient way. Above all, I am enjoying the process. Do you want to know how I accomplished it?
1. The return back home post-holiday.
When you arrive back from holiday, your house will have been locked up for a period of time, so it is normal that you will find it dark and cold not to mention it will feel depressing as you are just back. So let’s try to feel the opposite: open the windows, let the air in, get rid of the dust, freshening up your house, unpack your suitcases (this doesn’t have to be done the first day but it should be done the first week back from holidays so that you don’t feel so sad about returning back to reality). A final touch could be to buy yourself some flowers, a plant, or a cactus. This always helps me feel better about being back home.
2. Establish your priorities
Organize your daily routine with errands which you consider to be the most important and which you think can do as soon as possible without doing them all on the first day. To this end, plan for a minimum period of time to return to your routine but without feeling overwhelmed. Be completely flexible to sort out all the unexpected stuff which can arise.
3. Plan your time.
This is one of the first things that you have to do; organize your schedule (the time you get up, go to work, train, eat, go to bed) and be as strict as possible with this program (this will be hard to do 100% the first few days) but it is conceivable that it will help you to get back into your routine, tasks and daily activities quicker.
4. Get back into your healthy habits.
This is vital so you should start this from the very first day of your post-holiday return. Getting back into your healthy habits is the key to ensuring that you get back into your daily routine.
- Food – This section is where you have to pay the most attention as we always put on weight during the holiday and the worst thing is that we tend to come back and stop eating. This is not the right idea; we don’t want to make the return hellish; we want to return to our healthy habits while enjoying the process. Here the steps are clear: drink lots of water during the day, fill your plates with greens, control the quantities, reduce carbohydrates and most importantly, organize a food plan (meal times and menus). Don’t forget that in order to carry out this meal plan, you must make a list of food (it will take time to choose the food because you have to select what to eat for lunch and for dinner but if you buy healthily, it will encourage you to cook healthier dishes.
- Exercise – You don’t have to go to the gym and do three hours of weight on the first day, because you will be exhausted the next day. Start with one hour of activity on alternative days (but don’t skip any) and later you can start your activities more frequently. I advise you to read my post How can you make physical exercise a daily habit?
- Sleep – The best way to get back into your sleep routine is to start to go to bed early (one hour earlier than normal) and then set the alarm clock in advance each morning until you get back into your daily routine.
These three points are vital in order to get back into your daily habits, to secure feeling good physically and mentally. With rest, your energy levels will be boosted.
5. Going back to work.
If you were lucky, before going back to work, you were able to turn off the computer and forget about work, emails, and calls and didn’t open it during the whole holiday period…but we’ve just come back so now we have to face it. How?
The first thing you have to do is not to overwhelm yourself telling you yourself that you have to sort out everything the first day. Starting from here, you can start with these basic points:
- Greet your work colleagues, share memories, and let people know that you are back.
- Organize your emails and calls by their level of urgency (differentiate urgent with important)
- Set the alarm on your phone every 45-60 minutes so that you get up from the computer, stretch, drink water, walk or take a breather.
Starting from this moment, you will start to feel that you are back at work and in a few hours, you will be caught up with all the most urgent work.
6. Stay active in all senses of the word.
As soon as you step inside the door of your house, don’t become demotivated thinking that the holidays are over. It is normal to have post-holiday blues because you’re just back from having a great time. Don´t worry, because if you stay active both physically and mentally you won’t even realize that you are back from holiday.
7. Give yourself time to adapt.
The return to reality doesn’t have to be done all on the first day, but neither should you leave everything for months. Don’t be extreme: focus, priorities (like I mentioned in my previous paragraph), and organize a light week without filling up your diary with social events, very important work meetings, and high-level obligations. Remember that it is a week in which you need time to be at home and to give yourself time to get back into your daily habits.
8. Make sure your workouts focus on one goal.
Don´t you think that holidays are the ideal time to think about new projects? Holidays clear the mind, refreshing it and emptying it out. The best thing is that it gives you an extra dose of motivation too. It’s for this reason that I think coming back after the holidays is the best time to start a new project or to make progress on one which you’ve been thinking about. It doesn’t matter the type of project: learning a language, starting up a business, organizing a family event….etc. whatever it is, it needs your full attention so if you have something in mind, do it today! Don’t put it off until tomorrow.
Less thinking and more action! You’ve already seen that productivity goes hand in hand with good habits and is linked to everyone’s attitude.