Learn how to get back on track after the holidays with five simple productivity tips. I’ll share the go-to strategies I used to prevent the back to work scaries.
You’ll be able to ease back into your weekly routine in no time.
Have you ever struggled with getting back to your daily routine after a holiday vacation?
Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. The days leading up to your first day back at the office are usually the most challenging.
After partying hard and rejecting healthy eating habits, your energy level may be low.
I used to be exhausted and depressed when the holidays were over, but I’ve been able to stay on track thanks to my seven simple steps..
While on vacation, I controlled my schedule; I stayed up late and made excuses to eat anything that I wanted.
Holidays are like summer breaks for adults. I don’t know too many people that are excited to return to work. Unless, of course, you love what you do and work doesn’t feel much like…”work”.
To be honest, I’d rather go back to school.
Adulting can be overwhelming and boring, but only if you allow it to be.
If you’re a working professional, my best advice is to take days off at the beginning and/or end of each holiday. Those 3-4 day work weeks are absolutely golden.
When your company allows you the time, take it off. Self-employed entrepreneurs and stay at home moms, give yourself a break and show yourself some grace.
No matter what your occupation is, your hiatus is well-deserved.
Holidays are hands-down, my favorite time of the year. No matter the season, holiday breaks guarantee time off of work, family gatherings, tons of food, and festive decor that puts everyone in a good mood.
They’re an escape from the mundane and the perfect time to sit back, relax, and indulge in all the tasty dishes without regretting it the day after.
I’ll show you how to get back on track after the holidays without feeling anxiety, stress, or fatigue once your weekly schedule resumes.
There are several ways to ease back into your daily routines, but the first thing you’ll need to do is reset.
How do I reset after holidays?
1. Forget About Work
Don’t think about it.
Refrain from doing any work on your days off and this includes any side hustles too. Your job will be there, along with all the projects waiting on your desk when you return.
Do not open your laptop.
Unplug. Unplug. Unplug.
Ignore any work related apps on your phone. Don’t respond to any emails until offices re-open.
Workaholics go on vacation just to think about work when they aren’t there. You can’t learn how to get back on track after the holidays with this mindset. Remember, overworking rarely gets you a raise, you’re just rewarded with more work.
Take it easy on your vacation. Think about the other goals you have outside of your career. What activities or tasks can you complete when you have your time back to yourself?
2. Prioritize close friends and family
Let’s be honest. Work monopolizes a large portion of our lives. In order to make a living, most people trade their time in for money.
But for those who have mastered the art of generating passive income to cover their expenses, well, lucky you.
When you’re on the grind, hanging out with friends, dating, and spending quality time with loved one’s get placed on the back burner. Bills have to be paid, right?
Attaining time freedom isn’t an easy feat. Going on vacations and taking personal days off from work is, unfortunately, the reality for most who want time away to re-charge and relax.
With limited time to spend with immediate and extended family throughout the year, it’s important to plan out your PTO days strategically.
I’m not suggesting you spend all your time off catching up with friends, neighbors, and family while neglecting self-care. You need time alone to focus on you, but don’t be selfish.
Plan your vacations in advance. Dedicate an entire 1-2 days that you will go visit family, attend events with friends, or welcome them over to your home for entertaining. I prefer the latter, because I enjoy opening up my space and cooking for others.
This way you can cut back on traveling time and control your spending.
Vacations don’t have to be extravagant. If you only have a few days of the week off, try to stray away from getaways that require you to book long flights and hotels. By the time you’re due back to work, you’ll be burnt out from stress.
I prefer mid-week vacations before an upcoming holiday.
If you take time off on a Wednesday or Thursday and there’s a holiday the following Monday, you have almost a week to plan a mini staycation or weekend getaway.
It took me a while to implement this hack, but it’s what ultimately taught me how to get back on track after the holidays.
Nevertheless, it all depends on how you divide up your time. Just make sure you include dinner reservations somewhere in your schedule to invite family and friends to.
3. Skip Calorie Counting
Daily habits help us stay on top of our fitness goals and wellness routines. Our schedules play a major part in how we maintain a clean bill of health.
Think about it. We exercise daily. Drink plenty of water. Meal plan with healthy foods to sustain our energy. Doctor and dental visits get scheduled annually or as needed.
But what happens when vacation time hits during the summer and winter months?
Most people use their time off to pig out and sleep countless hours right after.
Some people may feel guilty about doing this. It’s as if they’re cheating on a promise they made to themselves.
They spend months exercising and eating right to shed a few pounds just to pack them right back on around the holiday.
I’m not in any way advising this, but don’t stress about it.
Eating a few more pastries or desserts won’t do too much harm.
As long as you schedule in activities to move your body such as hiking, skiing, jogging, swimming or playing outdoor sports, you’ll be just fine.
Getting back on track after holiday eating doesn’t have to be difficult. Select a few vacation days where you give yourself a pass to eat what you please.
Imagine that it’s no different from the weekly ‘cheat days’ you hand pick for your diet. You just add on a few more.
So, you want to know how to get back on track with your diet after Thanksgiving and Christmas?
Yes, the two holidays where people struggle with sticking to their healthy eating habits the most.
These tips will help you dodge the pounds without following a strict dietary plan during the holiday.
- Try intermittent fasting temporarily
- Eat a light breakfast or replace one meal with a protein smoothie
- Go for a walk after you eat instead of napping
- Drink plenty of water
- Eat salty and sugary treats in moderation
- Eat a salad before or after your dinner
- Opt for healthier snacks
This may sound like a no-brainer, but hustle culture and societal norms have shunned our need to get adequate amounts of rest.
Society has conditioned us to believe that 8-hour workdays are normal.
Make sure you add on a few extra hours for running errands, school drop-offs and pickups, chores, and meal prepping. Maybe one hour or less for self-care and time with family during the week.
When we’re not working for a paycheck, we’re working to run our households.
If you run a tight ship, you may get back an hour or two of time for yourself, but most Americans don’t get the proper 6-8 hours of sleep recommended.
Why not use vacation time or simply scheduling in self-care days to do so?
Mental health days are pretty popular with Zennials in the workplace. Taking a day off here and there is pretty common.
You don’t have to schedule PTO days or feel you can only rest around the holidays. After all, they’re only a handful throughout the year.
Delaying your personal life until Independence Day or Halloween can harm your mental health.
I’m an advocate for 3-day weekends. If only the 4-day work week could come to pass, but until then take the time off on your own to do absolutely nothing.
I don’t care if you binge-watch television, read, or stare aimlessly out of the window for hours. Your brain will thank you for the mental break. Trust me.
Sleeping re-energizes and heals the body. Maybe you don’t have any plans for the holiday but to sleep in.
And guess what? That’s perfectly fine too.
5. Block out your weekly work schedule
We all know the first week back-to-work is hectic. Everyone is playing catch up on the work they neglected weeks before or managers are trying to push deadlines up.
Want to know how to get back on track after the holidays? Take control of your return to the office. Set aside time to answer emails and gradually add on tasks to fulfill your duties.
Opt-out of any meetings that can wait or won’t benefit from your presence.
Use your auto-responder to let your colleagues know you have limited access to e-mail, but will get back to them soon.
Set the expectations for your team members that their emergencies are not your own.
If your company uses Slack or Microsoft Teams, set your status to ‘Away’ or don’t log-in until the end of the week after your return.
Your work boundaries still stand even though you’ve taken a week or two off. Leave promptly at five o’clock and don’t take any extra work home with you.
For the stay at home moms that feel guilty for slacking or not having your family’s weekly schedule together, don’t feel bad. Ease in and out of vacation mode as you see fit.
After the holidays, take an additional week to get back into the groove of your daily routine.
Focus on getting the children settled back into school first. New sports programs, weekend activities, and events will be on the calendar for sure. Rely on quick meals and tidying rather than prepping and deep cleaning right after vacation ends.
Jumping right back into your regularly scheduled routine is not how to get back on track after the holidays.
Pencil in several self-care breaks the first week in. The last thing you want to feel is overwhelm at home. Try not to let your family tug you in different directions. You need to regain control.
Allow school-aged children to be autonomous as the holiday vacation comes to a close. You’ve been on your feet more than enough.
It’s perfectly okay to order take out a few days or instruct them to complete the household chores. Remember, to leverage help in the housework where it’s needed, your partner should pitch in too.
Catch up on any neglected tasks. Whether it’s managing finances, budgeting, household repairs, doctor appointments, or planning special events.
Getting back on track after the holidays can be an uphill battle, if you allow it to be. Sulking on getting that time back to spend with loved ones isn’t productive. Reflect on the memories you made and come up with strategies to give yourself more free time.
Are you ready to be more intentional in your weekly schedule? Well, wait no longer! Download the ‘Daily Routine Planner’ to increase your productivity today!
I teach entrepreneurs how to simplify their life and business with less + own their time and maximize productivity towards their personal and monetary goals.