Two questions: Have you ever felt stressed even after a long holiday or vacation? Soon after returning to the office, have you felt the need for a “mental health day?”

If so, you’re not alone.

We go on vacation  for serenity – to lift our moods, change our perspectives and alleviate negative emotions.

However, even after a nice holiday or vacation, it’s pretty common to start feeling stressed when you jump into work.

Have you ever noticed how dogs behave? They stay in the moment and never seem unhappy.

Why not emulate the behavior of a dog?

The trick is to prevent stress from rearing its ugly head to keep it from ruining the benefits you received from your vacation.

Here’s how to minimize stress after a vacation:

1. Prevent phone calls your first day back

Before you leave for vacation, your automatic reply on your phone should indicate your return date, mention your preference that important matters be handled by email, and explain whom you want be contacted in your absence.

2. Shorten your first week

Return midweek. In this way, you’ll be more enthusiastic rather than dreading a heavy workload and week of problems. Prioritize the issues.

3. Work a minimal first day 

Go to the office for only four hours. Consider it to be sort of an orientation to ease back into your pressures, handle any pressing issues and to plan your schedule for the next few days.

Then, take the afternoon off. 

4. Work on an attitude of gratitude

The most serene professionals focus on the positive – the 90 percent of what’s going well rather than the negative 10 percent that isn’t going well. In this way, it’s easier for them to tackle the 10 percent.

So learn to keep a smile on your face by practicing an attitude of gratitude. In fact, if you haven’t already, start a gratitude list.

You’ll find you can think of 10 things are worth appreciating. Review your list. Reflect on it. Make it a regular thing to do.

5. Vary your routine

Avoid falling into a rut. Learn to keep an open mind by using the “Principle of Contrary Action.”

Keep a mental or written record of your routines. Every time you do something try to approach it differently. For instance, take a different route to the office and park in a different parking space.

Ever notice how happy your dog gets when you reach for a leash?

Sometimes people in business need a creative place at out-of-the-ordinary locations. Perhaps you have an employee whom you need to counsel. Or you might have a peer who needs encouragement.

So for discussions on difficult issues, try walking meetings.

6. Budget blue-sky sessions

While you immerse yourself in your daily routines and challenges, budget time for blue-sky sessions to dream about future plans.

Never allow the fires and problems distract you from your long-term goals.

7. Exercise

Whether you’re a runner, walker, golfer, yogi or gym aficionado – whatever your favorite way to exercise — budget time do it regularly.

And don’t forget to exercise your spiritual and mental health.

8. Consider planning periodic mental-health days

Don’t allow depression to consume you. Take periodic days off to relax with your family, play golf, go boating, fishing, or take in a Wednesday afternoon baseball game.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related tips:

Career Tips: 5 Morning Habits of Winning Entrepreneurs — The key is to manage the highs and lows synonymous with a dynamic roller-coaster ride. You must stay on an even keel, despite all the negative surprises. Develop habits that make certain your attitude is contagious – an attitude worth catching — to prepare for daily success.

6 Best Mental Attributes of Successful Entrepreneurs — Becoming an entrepreneur is the hardest task you can imagine. The hours are long and you can expect a physical and emotional roller-coaster ride. A song made famous by Frank Sinatra explains it best.

5 Personality Traits for Personal and Professional Success — Five personality traits are important for overcoming stress and achieving goals academically, professionally and in personal relationships.

How You Can Improve Your Memory for Career Success — Data is important in business but only if you retain and understand it. Your memory helps you to embed, store, maintain and recover information. Here’s important information to improve your memory.

Tips to Prevent or Eliminate Employee Toxicity — From time to time, nearly every boss has to cope with an employee’s negativity. That’s annoying enough, but you’ve got a nightmare if toxic attitudes spread among the rest of your workers. Here are solutions.

30 Time Management, Stress Reducing Tips — Tips that will enable you to take bold measures to invest in your future and make money by saving time and reducing stress.

“Self-esteem is as important to our well-being as legs are to a table. It is essential for physical and mental health and for happiness.”

-Louise Hart


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.