What I did before vacation that made me want to come back

You know how it goes. You spend a beautiful vacation away from the monotony and hum-drum of daily like, and when you return you feel like you need another week off – just to get back in the swing of things.

It seems like it is par for the course. Like you are paying your dues for having had that glorious week away.

I am not so sure it has to be that way. In fact, I think there are a few things you can do before you go on vacation that will actually make you want to come back.

Yes, I do think you are more likely to want to return when you aren’t returning to chaos.

Every summer we take a few weeks to go to beautiful Martha’s Vineyard. The preparations needed to be away for two weeks are fairly entailed. I cook and bake a lot of things ahead of time so I can spend more time at the beach than in the kitchen. I also bring as much food as possible so I can stick to my paleo lifestyle and feel good while I’m away. But also so I spend time outdoors and not inside a grocery store.

Of course all the work done to prepare to go away is worth it. And once I get to my destination all of that work and the stresses that accompany it just melt away into the warm, salty air.

It’s vacation.  That is what is supposed to happen!

But I have learned over the years that there is a way to reduce the weighted feeling of coming home. When I return from vacation I don’t want to fall into the trap of feeling as though I need another vacation.  Upon my re-entry I want the rejuvenated feeling I got on vacation to stay with me a bit longer.

Here are the things I always do before I vacation that makes the re-entry a breeze.

1. Clean.

Whether you are going on vacation, just coming back, or have no plans to leave your abode, a clean house is a happy house. And happy my house certainly is when I return from being away.  Before I leave I make sure both of the main bathrooms and kitchen counters are cleaned.  I also clean the mud room – because it is the first thing I see when I come into the house. And I wash all the bed sheets. I do this so I come home and crawl into a clean bed — kind of like what it feels like in your vacation hotel room. Walking into a clean house feels amazing. It signals a fresh, clean start. It feels organized, and you’ll feel less stress.

2. Make a meal plan.

If you are in the habit of making a meal plan each week, this might be something that you would just do naturally.  It’s always a good thing to do if you want to make cooking and eating healthy less of a chore. If you do the thinking before you leave for vacation, then your mind will be able to stay a bit more rested when you return. I am not a fan of having to food shop and having a meal plan ahead of time makes that task alone more efficient and therefore appealing. I not only make a meal plan but I make a shopping list so when I get home I don’t have to think at all.  My brain is very happy.  And when it came to eating and cooking, the first week home is always a breeze.

3. Leave a thorough list.

Before I leave for vacation I do some forward thinking so my list is really comprehensive. It contains things I know I don’t want to forget and don’t want to wrack my brain to try to remember when I return.  It’s unnecessary to have to think that hard after a relaxing vacation. That is no fun for you brain or for your self. A list solves that problem. It is a powerful tool to help your brain ease back into the rhythm of life after vacation.

Coming back from vacation can be a drag. But it should be because you are leaving this behind.

Not because you are coming back to any kind of chaos.

Plan for your re-entry so you can ease back into it. It makes coming home from vacation almost as much fun as going.

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