Ever Return From Vacation Exhausted And Stressed? Vacation Do’s And Don’ts


    Have you ever gone ‘down to Kokomo, to get away from it all, bodies in the sand, tropical drink melting in your hand,’ only to return home feeling just as stressed as you were when you left…like you didn’t get away from it all

    Classic Beach Boys lyrics aside, needing a vacation after a vacation is a growing problem. And, there’s surely gotta be some ways to avoid it. 

    I mean, the goal is vacation, not relocation. 

    You set out to relax and recharge, so the last thing you want is to come back home in worse shape than when you left: drained, exhausted, and super-stressed! 

    Well, it turns out there’s a right way and a wrong way to vacation.

    So, to truly benefit from your needed, earned, and well-deserved time away, there are a few things to consider…



    Let’s start out by looking at what not to do on vacation. 

    Don’t Over-Schedule
    We get it. You’ve saved and planned and waited possibly an entire year to take the fam someplace new, someplace exciting, someplace fun.

    But, cool your excited jets for a moment and consider this question: Do you really need to be on-the-go every last second of each day you’re away? 

    Whether you’re with the fam (even more exhausting) or just getting away on your own, packing every moment of your schedule with places to go and things to see can turn your vacation from exciting to exhausting. 

    If you must plan and schedule, be sure to plan and schedule plenty of down time. 

    Skip The Redeye
    Late flights and early flights can sometimes save you some cash, and they seem like a good idea in the time management category as well…until your alarm goes off at 3 am and you’re actually leaving for or coming home from your needed vacation. 

    Those late and early flights can have you entering and ending your vacation time in need of some serious shut eye. 

    At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself, is the late or early flight really worth arriving home at 4 am only to get up two hours later to head back to work. 

    These seemingly small details can defeat the purpose of the rest and relaxation you may have enjoyed while away when you put your body through such a rude awakening upon return. 

    Please Step Away From Your Phone
    That’s right. Put it down, and back away slowly. 

    Our phones or devices can be a help, but they can also be a hindrance. 

    Vacation is a time to disconnect from the digital/work world and connect with family, friends, or even yourself. 

    If there’s ever a time to unplug, it’s while you’re on vacation. 

    A failure to leave the stresses of your job or even the time-sucking reality of social media while away on vacation can equate to a failure to truly relax and destress, leaving you just as exhausted and stressed as you were when you were at home lamenting the need for a vacation. 

    Expect The Unexpected
    Just because you’re away on vacation doesn’t mean that everything will always be rosy and perfect. I mean, vacation or not, life is life. And, life is full of unforeseen circumstances. 

    So…be flexible. 

    Flights get delayed. So, prepare your mind to be flexible so such an instance won’t ruin your time away. 

    Mother Nature isn’t always friendly. So, if your tropical getaway is seeing more clouds than sunshine, take it all in stride. Be thankful for the opportunity to be on vacation and make the best of it. 

    And for parents, kids are kids, right? A change of scenery can be refreshing for adults, but overwhelming for children. Give grace, be flexible, take a deep breath, and enjoy yourselves. 

    Pull an Elsa while vacationing and just let it all go. 


    So, what can you do while on vacation to ensure you don’t return back home just as stressed and exhausted as when you left? 

    Now, we’re not talking about obsessive planning, I mean we did mention the woes of over-scheduling above. 

    What we’re referring to here are some simple things you can do to ensure everything’s sunshine and rainbows while you’re away (figuratively speaking, we can’t really control the weather). 

    If there’s some things you can do at work or home to make your return less stressful, less overwhelming, do those things prior to leaving to provide you with peace of mind while away and a few less items on the to-do list for when you return. 

    Again with the Elsa reference…vacation is truly about letting it go, and that all starts between your ears. 

    Prepare your mind for relaxation. If you tend to be a worrisome person, your worries will still be there when you return, so for your peace and health, give your mind permission to truly take a break. 

    This also falls in line as the other side to the don’t coin dealing with flexibility. So, be sure to have a mindset of relaxation, not letting any unexpected events rob you of relaxation and joy while you’re on vacation (also a good habit in general). 

    Have Fun
    Life can be draining. Vacation is meant to fill you up. 

    If you know that going to Disney with your family will leave you on the verge of a panic attack every hour on the hour while away, you’ve got to ask yourself: is it worth it? 

    Now…that answer may be yes, because we often “take one for the team” when it comes to our loved ones (not saying we regret it either, but it can simply be exhausting). But, maybe you can anticipate this and find something fun and relaxing for everyone (yep, that means you too mom and dad) on your trip. 

    Or, perhaps you can plan this trip in a way that leaves you a bit of room for a weekend away at a later time to achieve a bit more relaxation and a little less Mickey? 

    Believe it or not, going into a potentially stressful vacation knowing you’ve got some me-time planned while you’re there or a retreat coming soon after can make all the difference. 

    And, minus the amusement park scenario…

    Choose a location or a setting for your time away that you will thoroughly enjoy. And, incorporate activities that you love while there as well. 

    Time spent golfing while on vacation in the absence of a hectic schedule can be both enjoyable and relaxing. 

    Time spent walking on the beach as opposed to your normal sidewalk route can be rejuvenating away from your daily 9 am appointments. 

    And, allow for some thrill. Use your time away to do things you’ve always wanted to do. 

    Truly…enjoy every moment. Make memories, laugh, sleep in, breath in the fresh air, and do something for you! 

    Sleep And Slow Down
    On the flip side of the don’t coin regarding an overcrowded vacation schedule, make sure you do get enough sleep while on vacation. From a nap under a beach umbrella to just skipping that 5 am alarm, allow your body ample time to rest while you’re away. 

    In fact, if you’re able, skip the clock entirely while away (not just the alarm). 

    Truly live in the moment, and soak up those moments while on vacation. 

    Get plenty of rest. Slow down and relax. (Just don’t sleep the whole time away, chances are you’d regret that decision.)

    Come Home Soon
    No matter how long you’re away, consider allowing a bit of time between the end of your vacation and your return to your daily grind. 

    Some suggest coming back from vacation a day early just to give your body time to recover and regroup before returning to work. 

    I say, you know your job and your responsibilities, so just be sure to plan accordingly. 

    But, give yourself some space to unpack and breathe a bit, savoring the enjoyable time you had while you were away before diving right back into things. 

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