Stress is a fact of life for almost all of us, and one way to beat stress is to take time off from work. For some of us, however, returning to work can often have the opposite effect — it can be a source of even more stress. With a bit of planning, you can come back ready to work and ease back into your typical routine without feeling anxious.
Add an extra day
Taking a day to recover from your vacation is not a bad idea. Schedule yourself an entire day home before returning to your routine. You can use this “extra day” to catch up on emails, review projects, and settle in at home. Knowing what to expect before you head back to work will give you a glimpse of what your week will be like and give you peace of mind.
Put your desk in order before you leave
Clearing your desk, putting away files, and leaving your office or cubicle in a tidy state before your time off helps you in several ways. One benefit is coming back to a space ready for work. It is likely that coworkers will add to your work space while you are gone. So, knowing where to find your things will help you sift through the new mess and allow you access to what you need.
Schedule meetings several days after you get back
You will probably add events to your calendar before you leave. Be realistic when planning how much time you will need to prepare for these events. Consider postponing meetings three to five days after returning (or longer, if possible).
Before you leave, hand off a few or your to-dos to an assistant or colleague to manage while you are away. At the very least, brief a colleague on where to find things while you are away so no one will call you while you are sipping a fancy drink on a beach.