The best laid plans-losing and regaining your holiday mindsetEver lay down on a beach, sun shining and warming you through? Phone turned off, a thousand miles from work, stress and responsibility. Rub on another application of sunscreen and take a dip in the sea. Your mind is relaxed, winding down. A few weeks filled with nothing but love and laughter. Friends, family, new experiences and a relaxed way of life. The real world is so far away.
Ever made plans on holiday? Ever decided what you were going to do when you got back? Ever thought over a big decision and been able to clearly see all the pros and cons for once?
Have you ever reached a decision or decided on a plan on holiday-only to lose your inspiration and motivation once you got back home and lost your holiday mindset?
Worklife vs real life
Whilst researching this post, I noticed the topic that came up most regarding the holiday feeling was, sadly, how to get rid of it and back into work. Let me repeat that. The question a lot of people were asking was how to get rid of the relaxed, blissful feeling and get re-focused on the rat race. It blew my mind. People were seeing the renewed vigour, clarity and de-stressed feelings from their holiday as a negative? It just didn’t make sense!
But then I slowly came to realise. In a traditional ‘job’…being seen as ‘hard working’ is a bonus. Even being a small bit relaxed can set off warning bells in boardroom across the world. Oh, John’s not quite up to speed after being away for a week? He hasn’t managed to sift through the 700 outstanding emails yet? It’s nearly 9am, what’s he thinking of?
In the corporate world, it seems like some companies would prefer it if we never ever took time off. The problem is, we really, really need to. Look at the positives.
What’s good about the holiday mindset?
It’s easier to think of new ideas
Removed from distractions, your creativity can really show itself. Keep a notebook of everything you come up with. In the right setting, ideas you would usually dismiss as impossible suddenly seem within reach. Keep dreaming big.
You can look at situations more objectively
It’s hard to stay objective about situations if you are in the middle of them, surrounded by conflicting emotions. Removed from that place, it’s easier to analyse another’s point of view, or to understand what you need to do next to move forward.
You are inspired
Holiday relaxation puts a positive slant on everything. You let your mind relax and, wow, you’re thinking of great ideas every day. Maybe it’s a new business, ideas for a course or a talk, a sudden realisation about the direction your life is taking, or the confidence to make a big decision.
Back to reality-losing your holiday mindset
The journey home. Memories already fading. Back to work dread already creeping in. It couldn’t have been 2 weeks already, right? Why has time sped up so much? You read down your list of ideas you made whilst on vacation. You start to think of reasons why each and every idea is impossible. By the time you get home and throw your luggage back onto your bedroom floor, you’ve already forgotten the excitement of the last few days. Work looms on Monday morning and sadly, that list and everything on it is left behind.
Your work should excite you. Your work should bring joy and inspiration to your life, and enhance your mood, not detract from it. Scott Dinsmore of Live Your Legend presented an amazing TED Talk on How To Find And Do Work You Love-it’s really worth checking out.
If your job means you lose that holiday feeling very quickly-it might be time to look at your situation. Ask yourself if your work is truly making you happy? By taking that time away, that break, you may have come to a realisation already. Beating the post-holiday blues shouldn’t have to be a part of life.
Keep positive, keep inspired, keep moving forward
To keep the holiday mindset, you need to hit the ground running. Use the flight home to begin to put your plans in place. Don’t give yourself the chance to settle back into the drudgery of pre-holiday routine. You’ve given yourself a window, a bright clarity. Now it’s time to throw that window right open and let the light flood in.
Need to connect with someone to start things moving? Write them an email on the journey home and send it as soon as you are able, even the second you can turn your phone on once your plane has landed. Keep running. Want to schedule a meeting with your boss to discuss changing your role at work? Send them an invite on G-Cal. Taking the big leap and quitting your job? Write out that notice, man. Scary? You betcha. Just do it. Don’t waste that holiday inspiration.
Your list? All those great ideas? Scan it into your computer and blow it up to A3. Print it out and stick it somewhere you see it every day. Tackle each idea positively. You’re not allowed to dismiss any of them. You thought of them for a reason, when your mind was at it’s most productive. And not productive in the office sense, either. Productive in the life sense. The most important kind of productivity.
It’s really important to keep the momentum going. Re-read through your list, re-visit ideas, meet up with friends you holidayed with and reminisce about the good times you had. Chat to your family and listen to their ideas too. Channel the feeling. Use your quiet time or meditation time to flood your mind with the sights and sounds of your holiday once again.
By giving our minds a break from the stresses and strains of everyday life, we can process through problems more effectively. Situations that seemed huge can start to seem easy once we’re removed from the drama. Being on holiday can be one of the best times to create, inspire, and be inspired. With a little planning, we can bring that feeling home and keep the holiday mindset with us every single day.