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You’ve just returned from your dream vacation and tomorrow you have to be back in the office. You’re not alone, it is easy to try to max your vacation days down to the very last minute; however, this can put a serious damper on your return to work and delay your jet lag recovery. Not to worry, here are three things you can do to combat jet lag and prevent a post-vacation hangover as you head back to the real world.
1. Reset your internal clock
- Getting your internal clock back on your normal time zone as soon as possible is the number one thing you can do help your transition back to life at home. Here’s how:
- Stay up as close as you can to your normal bedtime. It is important to reset your internal clock, especially when you return from overseas.
- Working out can help get you recalibrated more quickly; even a brisk walk can help.
- Many travelers recommend a magnesium salt bath as a natural way to help induce sleep and stay asleep once you return from long-distance overseas travel.
2. Post trip checklist
- Get all your post-trip activities out of the way immediately. Remove the mental clutter that keeps people up at night and reduce the stress of a to-do list waiting for you when you return from work. Some typical post-trip tasks to get out of the way:
- Upload photos to your computer so you can put them on your favorite social site or scrapbook folder.
- Get in touch with folks back home to say hi, avoid feeling guilty for not doing it until the next weekend, or forgetting entirely.
- Do meal planning and stock up the fridge for at least a few days. If not, you’ll be ordering delivery, or doing a grocery run after work when you’d rather just go home and put your feet up.
- Catch up on e-mails or your favorite shows that you missed while you were away.
- Do laundry. Getting all the dirty clothes washed and put away creates a sense of order.
3. Take a vacation from your vacation
- Travel is tough; schedule a full down day before returning to work. This gives you an entire day to complete all the post-trip tasks above and relax before going back to work. Flying can take a toll and gently easing back into real life will minimize the shock to the system.
- If your vacation was interrupted, delayed or otherwise thrown off-track, you will often have post-trip paperwork to do. Make this process pain free by having travel insurance to help settle any paperwork or reimbursements.
Your dream vacation (or work trip) may be over, but that does not mean that it has to be difficult getting back into the swing of things. You will be fresh and ready to make your co-workers jealous with all your stories by taking a little time to relax, getting your internal clock reset and checking off all those chores that have been piling up while you were out before you head back to work.
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