It's that time of year where everyone is talking about their summer vacation plans.
There's a lot of work, time and energy involved in planning a trip and leaving town and I want to let you in on my secrets for incorporating the beauty from your trip into a newer, better version of your daily life at home.
How many times has this happened to you…? You go away on an exciting trip. You see new things, get inspired, have a ton of fun and relaaax.
When it's time to head home, you feel good and you start to imagine the new meals you feel inspired to cook, how you want to eat dinners with candlelight, how you want to make more time for reading... and baths... and connecting with your family... and spend less time on your phone.
But then, you get home — and reality starts to set in. You head in to work Monday morning, and by Wednesday, the inspiration and relaxation from the trip has almost totally faded.
Cooking, baths, self-care and more quality family time — these get shuffled to the bottom of your To Do list, and you settle back into your normal day-to-day routines.
Before you know it, you’re just as tired and burned out as before. So you decide: Hey, it’s time for another vacation! And the cycle repeats…
If this feels familiar, you’re not alone — and you’re not crazy!
It’s time to learn the art of INTEGRATION.
It took me a long time to realize what I really needed once I got home from vacation. But now, I know: the first day or two of my return are crucial.
Honoring this transitional time is essential, not only for integrating all the nourishment from vacation, but also to ensure good energy moving forward.
CLEAN BEFORE YOU LEAVE
You'll feel so much better coming home when you don't have a mess to clean up right away. Leave your home as clean as you can before you take off. Get the laundry done, have clean towels on the rack, wipe the counter tops, put clean sheets on the bed, tidy up and take out the trash.
UNPACK RIGHT AWAY
I have learned: it’s vital to unpack your bag as soon as you get home. (Or at least the next day.)
When you leave your suitcase lying around, you end up rummaging through it to find things you need and before you know it it looks like a bomb exploded in the room. It feels better for everyone, including yourself, if you actually unpack your bag when you get home.
Unpacking also brings the energy of the trip to a close and helps your body and mind settle back into life at home.
GIVE YOURSELF AN INTEGRATION DAY
Don't expect yourself to go straight from vacation to the office in just one day if you don't have to.
If you know you need to be back at work on Monday morning, consider coming home Saturday night, so you have one day to settle in and get back to “reality”.
Remember: you’ll probably be a little tired when you get back from vacation — even if it was a relaxing one. And there’s a natural “dip” in our energy and mood after the change of pace from being away. Be gentle with yourself as you get back into the swing of things.
DRINK LOTS OF WATER
Staying hydrated is key anytime you travel. Try to make a conscious effort to drink more water while you're travelling and when you get home. Your skin, energy and state-of-mind will thank you.
LIGHT A CANDLE
The feeling of home will really set in when you light a candle. Let it burn while you unpack and get settled in. It will have a calming effect on you and warm up the energy in your home.
INFUSE SOMETHING FROM YOUR TRIP INTO YOUR HOME
Even if it's something small like a new set of dish towels, I believe it’s important to honor the beautiful experiences in our lives, and find ways to integrate them into our hearts and homes.
Choose a photo from the trip to hang on the wall, sign up for the cooking class you felt inspired about, cook a meal with something special you brought home or add a new coffee table book to the collection.
Ever notice that it’s easy to slip into a mini-depression after a vacation? Making sure your home is a beautiful place that you truly love makes everything so much better! After all: when your home’s a wreck, and you have nothing to look forward to, depression is a pretty normal response.
Make sure to give yourself and your home a little extra TLC when you get back. Make everything as beautiful as you can: try putting some fresh flowers on the table, playing some music, drawing yourself a bubble bath… whatever you need to feel in love with your space, and focus on what’s great about being home.
The next time you find yourself arriving home from a great vacation, I hope you’ll think of these little tips.
After all, what better way to honor and celebrate a beautiful trip than by finding ways to keep the spirit alive at home?
Share in the comments below...
What is your arriving-home-from-vacation routine? Are you able to integrate back into the day-to-day the way your want to?
What's something you do (or can do) that help you feel more settled in when you get home?
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