HERE’S a late Halloween tale: Vacation ends tomorrow.
November has been a godsend for the worn-out members of the work force with plenty of nonworking holidays. But you do know the deal with vacations for a number of people, right? They work more like a drug than a tonic: The more you have, the more you want.
Not a few will have a hard time entering work mode tomorrow. Google “How to shake off the postholiday blues,” and you’ll see the one of the most common advices is to actually ease your way into your routine. If you’re feeling sluggish the night before you return to the office, set your alarm earlier for the next day so you’ll have more time to lock-in mentally. Don’t spend the first few hours at work looking back on the holidays that had been, or wishing there were more. It’s always better to get a head start to get more things done.
Besides, your mind and body are relaxed from a few days of rest, so don’t waste that refreshed energy. Channel them into creative pursuits, or tackle work issues you have long evaded.
Another popular suggestion is to map out your first day back. If you haven’t already, it pays to plot your workdays. Create a checklist on the things you want to achieve. It’s no different from making a holiday itinerary, anyway. Minimizing free-floating hours leave you with less time to look back on your vacation, and more time dealing with pending tasks.
If you do look back on holidays, refrain from contextualizing it against workdays. Experts say it’s unhealthy to view work as hindrance to fun. Your professional life has its own strengths; try to focus on that, so you won’t see your job as a burden. Embrace it as a blessing, just like how you embrace vacations.
This wrong notion of work-life duality connects perfectly to a personal pet peeve: People saying “Back to reality!” following a vacation.
First of all, you never left.
As otherworldly as Japan’s weather and food are, or as mesmerizing as the waters of Calaguas is, you never reached another plane. OK, mentally, maybe…but I’m talking about some people who think they actually did so in ways more than one; people whose disappointment show on their long faces after saying “Back to reality!”
How about viewing the “reality” you’re returning to as one and the same with the “reality” you’re coming from? Wouldn’t that make for a more enriching, singular “reality”—where all things, all experiences are continuous, and not clustered in some made-up divisions?
Why leave all the fun memory on the place where it was created and not be taken home, or even at work? Experiences should stay with the person, not with certain “realities.”
Why not view vacations not as a hindrance to work, but as enriching breaks that lead to productivity?
Sometimes, it really is just a matter of perception.
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