Whether you’ve stayed home and simply enjoyed the summer, or been away somewhere exotic and found that one minute you’re sipping a glass of something chilled in a beachside bistro without a care in the world; and the next there’s that despair as you realise all those problems you promised yourself you’d deal with ‘after the holiday’ are there waiting for you — along with a large credit-card bill.
So how do you stay motivated and engaged after the summer and the holidays?
Here’s five of my top tips for staying upbeat as opposed to getting down as summer comes to a close:
- Book your Next Trip – If you research this subject online this is the one thing you’ll find cited most frequently as an antidote to the post-holidays blues. I’d certainly endorse it too. Giving yourself something else to look forward to can certainly be a great way to boost your mood and energy.
- Time to Review? – If you find you’re on real downer after your summer holiday then that could be an indication that some things in your life and work could do with changing? Here’s a few key questions to consider: What have you been tolerating in your life/work that it’s really time to tackle and change? Where can you bring more fun, and rest and relaxation, into your life on a week to week basis?
- Plan Ahead and Transition Back – Pre-holiday is often frantic for many of us. Trying to wrap up work projects and get to the end of the ‘things to do before you go’ list, as well as pack and get there. If you can make some time to plan your re-entry however, that can make a big difference compared to just landing straight back in the deep end. So try and give this some thought before you go away. If you didn’t manage that, make sure you prioritise the mountain of things to catch up on, ease yourself in gently, and try and make a priority of enjoying any remaining sunny days and good weather before autumn takes hold. It’s all too easy to just get sucked back into the normal routine.
- Embrace the Season – Autumn is the time of harvest and reaping. So make sure you make time to really capitalise on seeds that you’ve sown earlier in the year and ensure you fully leverage them. It’s all too easy to simply dive into the next thing or get caught up in the ever growing ‘to do’ list. So as the farmers harvest the fields and bring in the crops, make sure you’re doing the same harvesting the rewards of your efforts. Embracing the American concept of ‘thanksgiving’ isn’t a bad idea either. So whilst you’re harvesting, take a few minutes and write a list of everything you’re grateful for and share it with those closest to you.
- Shift your Focus – As we return from holidays and land back in the day to day, it’s really easy to become wholly focused on what you’re missing from your holidays and comparing the great time you had with the depressing outlook of work and a busy life. This is completely normal. We’d all love for life to be a non-stop holiday. For most of us however, the reality is somewhat different (refer back to tip #2). However things are right now, possibility and potential are always just around the corner – so take some time to shift your focus: What are you looking forward to? What opportunities are available to you and how can you take advantage of them?
Whilst it’s completely normal to feel a bit down as summer comes to a close and your holidays start to feel like a distant memory. Remember that life happens 365 days of the year – so make sure the life you’re living is the life you really want, and if it isn’t start to make the changes now. There is no dress rehearsal… this is it folks!