Still Tired After A Vacation? Here's Why

energy transitions vacation
Running into friends during a gravel bike ride on the North Shore of Minnesota

Oh, the joy of vacation! I for one am such a lover of the adventure, packing up and getting out there. It's that chance to unwind, relax, explore, eat good food and hang with fun people with all the feels in a different environment. Not to mention a break from full-time work.

However you like to get out there, bet it car, plane, boat, camper, van or bus, ironically traveling can be a double edged sword.

Have you ever thought, "I need a vacation from my vacation!" 

It can be so fun and yet so draining.

But does it always have to be so exhausting? Is it possible to come home feeling mostly recharged?

Ya, I think (and know) it's possible.

Here's a look into why you may be tired when you get back.


The Difference Between Energy and Time Management

Consider where and how you are using your energy, what's filling your cup and what's draining you. This will allow you to shift how you schedule, spend time and move from one activity to the next.

When you only look at the clock and say, "At 9am we'll do this, at 11am we'll do that, at 3pm we'll meet this person, and 6pm we have these reservations" - regardless of how you're feeling and how your physical and emotional levels are. You simply stay on task, on schedule, to forge ahead to get all the things in because you're on vacation! 

When you are in tune with your energy, you make better choices, are able to be more present and limit the burn out factor. You may not be able to see every national park, get to every restaurant or visit with everyone but what you did do, you did with quality intention. 


Key questions to ask yourself when discovering where your energy management could improve on vacation

Did you try to get it all in?

Did you schedule "unstructured" time?

Did you work a little bit too much?

Did you overindulge on drinks and rich foods?

Did your sleep cycle change?

Were you less active?

Did you create solo time to enjoy yourself and relax?


When You Get Home...

Work at 50% the next few days - Don't hit the ground running starting new projects or having important meetings right away. Give yourself permission to do the bare minimum and bask in the post-vacation glow.

Don't try to eat overly healthy and workout intensely - There's no need to do a cleanse or detox when you get home. Swinging the pendulum in itself is draining and unnecessary. Simply start to eat healthy, whole meals and pause starting a new workout routine. Eat foods that are nourishing and move the body in a way that is enjoyable and low impact. 

Reflect on your experience. Share - This one is easy to overlook but makes a big impact in your memories and feelings of connection. Take time to go through pictures and videos, share with those you were vacationing with. Listen to music that makes you nostalgic for the experience you just had. Allow your subtle body to digest what your travels exposed you to. 

Prioritize rest - It can never be said enough. Go to bed at or before 10pm. Allow your body and mind to rest otherwise you can feel anxious and feel like you're dragging for weeks after. 


Next Time You Go On Vacation...

Schedule a down day - Plan to come home a day early and have an "in between" day. I know this may not always be possible but aim to make it happen. You will be so happy you had a day to relax, take care of small tasks, not work yet and rest. 

Digital detox -Take a break from your phone to be more present! If you work remote, create firm boundaries around clocking out and people being able to contact you. Hide your work apps and sign out of your email inbox. Give yourself more steps to have to get back in.Slow down and enjoy the in between moments,

Don't try to get it all in - Under schedule yourself. Transitions on vacation, especially with a group of people, always takes longer than you think. There's more to figure out and discover and that takes time, so do yourself a favor and create open time for going slow and being spontaneous.

Be active - Stay moving with low impact movement like walking and biking. My favorite is waking up early and getting in a 15-20 minute full body workout. Get outside, head to the hotel gym or use your bodyweight to knock out a focused exercise routine. It's always an energy producer.  

Aim to eat one super healthy meal a day - (Psst, make it lunch) Sometimes it's a mystery where your next meal is coming from on vacation but always aim to have one big, healthy meal with fat, fiber, greens and protein. A midday meal between 10am and 2pm is best.