Sunday, January 21, 2018

Life After Vacation

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by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner

The sun has set on your vacation. Perhaps this is the only one for another year. Returning to your routine can feel tiresome. Returning to your workout may feel downright daunting. Here’s what to do …


Laptop, vacation zipper, picWalking through the front door after a week, or even a few days, away can feel like a paparazzi attack. Mail, phone calls, chores, and suitcases bulging with laundry compete for your attention. And all must be dealt with on an empty stomach since the fridge is completely empty.

Thoughts of work rally in your mind. You feel a sudden urge to check in with the office via voice, email, text—all at once. Impulsively you log onto your home computer, hoping to weed through some of the hundreds of messages.

Stop the Madness

Get yourself an ice water (since that’s likely all you have available), sit down, and breathe. Prioritize tasks and then stick to them. Jumping from one pile to the next gets a little bit done but nothing accomplished. You’ll feel better once the basics are back in order (toothbrush in the bathroom, laundry in the washer, junk mail in the recycle bin). Then, consider spending an hour reviewing work details, followed by a trip for grocery essentials. (Reverse if your last meal was on a far-flung veranda overlooking the ocean and you are now famished.)


Get back in action at your own pace.
Get back in action at your own pace.

Do a workout—any exercise will do. Slowly get back into your fitness routine. Spend extra time warming up and stretching. Keep the duration short and the intensity low. The goal here is to build momentum, possibly after one too many frozen drinks. Avoid setbacks from sore, strained muscles woken too abruptly after beach-chair hibernation.

Or, skip your fitness routine all together and start a new fitness program! It’s a great time for a fresh beginning. Attend a new Group Fitness class. Try a different piece of fitness equipment or exercise tool. By fall, you’ll have a new skill and some comfortable favorites as you transition into the new season.

Ask a personal trainer for guidance and try something different.
Ask a personal trainer for guidance and try something different.

If post-vacation overload has you struggling to manage your workout, consider scheduling your routine personal training assessment or evaluation with the Center nurse. An appointment helps you commit a time and date to get back into the Center.

Make your schedule more fitness friendly. Prepare and freeze some healthy meals prior to vacation. The shopping and prep time saved will be appreciated as you get back to the reality of cooking versus being served at a resort restaurant. The convenience of having healthy foods available also will help inspire other healthy habits, like your workout.

Vacation Some More

Put the world on hold and escape for a picnic.
Put the world on hold and escape.

Add joy to each day. Time and finances may prohibit you from frequent vacations or getaways. Find ways to incorporate your favorite vacation activities into your daily routine. Here are some ways to vacationize your days:

  • Take a day trip.
  • Swim.
  • Go on a picnic.
  • Go fishing.
  • Brighten your home with a few new accessories (pillows, candles, new TV remote).
  • Read a summer novel.
  • Kick back and breathe in summer.
    Kick back and breathe in summer.

    Start a new hobby. (Frame a collage of your vacation photos or make a scrapbook.)

  • Try a new restaurant.
  • Use one of those frozen meals. Feel like someone prepared a welcome-home dinner for you.
  • Go to the movies on a week night.
  • Sit a little longer under the starry summer sky.

Make vacation a state-of-mind where memories live on and bliss is just a thought away. Access is free and can be frequent, even when sweating it out on the treadmill.

Image Credits



Family picnic:

Grassy feet:


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