The July 4th fireworks have long fizzled out. The beach ball is deflated and the damp towels have all piled up onto the washing machine. While your head knows it’s time to start refocusing after the holidays, your heart is struggling to let go.

The transition from Vacation Mode to Reality Mode is about as smooth as the turbulence on the plane ride it took to get back home. But we’re here to help you step back into reality quickly and with more vigor. So here are seven tips for you and your family to refocus after the summer break, one for each day of the ensuing week of post-vacation blues:

Set a Fitness Goal

There is nothing like a good ol’ sweat fest to fuel the procrastination of your reality check. Kick out distractions by signing up for a 5k, half marathon, Spartan Race, or exercise class of your choice at your local gym. Make yourself accountable by doing this as soon as possible so that you have a goal on the calendar that isn’t going anywhere, no matter how much you want to procrastinate getting back into shape.

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Kids Back on a Schedule

It’s one thing to get yourself honed in on refocusing after the holidays, but getting the rest of your family on the productivity train can be daunting. They won’t like it but put them to work sooner rather than later by tacking a chore list to the refrigerator and keeping them accountable to it. Start as soon as you get home, includ chores like unpacking their suitcase, laundry or, if you had family visiting you for the holiday, tidying up the house.

If your little ones are too small for chores, use this tip in regards to nap and feeding schedules. Vacation can throw their routines off just as much as ours, so getting the little ones back into the swing of things faster will make the whole family much less grumpy.

Write To-Do Lists

Maximize efficiency by going back to the old school way of organization: pen and paper. Whether you love planners or blank pieces of paper, write down the tasks you have for the coming days and weeks. Try to avoid using your phone as the only means to keep track of these tasks, because you can get easily distracted with every other app on your phone. Plus, is there anything more satisfying than crossing off items on a to-do list?

Curate a Pin Board of Healthy Meals

Start a Pinterest board of healthy meal ideas to complement your fitness goals. A surefire way to maintain the lethargic, traveling attitude – not to mention, lingering holiday weight – is by eating out or relying on easy, pre-packaged meals. Pinterest is full of just-as-easy Crockpot ideas with fresher ingredients. Load up the car and go to the grocery store together as a family within that first week of returning to normal life. This way, the whole family can get back in sync and manage meal expectations together.

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Turn Off Screens for a Day

The hustle and bustle of vacations can cause any family to grind each other’s gears by the time they make it back home. One way to hit the restart button is by setting up a technology ban for 24 hours. (Or any other pre-determined time of your choice.) Choose a day where the whole family can just relax and be together, without the need for phones, laptops, Xbox, or Netflix. You’ll be amazed at how much longer your day will seem, and the number of memories you can cram in a day.

Craft

Refocus your energy on productivity by putting your hands to work with a craft project. Spruce up a boring wall in the home with a handmade, macramé wall hanging. Plant vegetable seeds in your backyard. Try your hand at origami. Anything that can get your mind back on track will help remedy those post-vacation blues, and crafting can be a really fun way to do that.

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Treat Yourself

Plan a reward day at the end of the week to motivate you and your family to get out of the lull from vacation. This can even be mixed in with the Screen Ban day. By setting up this “staycation” day of sorts as soon as you get back home, you establish the light at the end of the tunnel. Chores lists, exercise routines, and meal planning can be a beatdown, so reward yourself for getting back into these things with something exciting that the whole family can enjoy and look forward to.


Sometimes, routines are overrated. And that’s why vacations were created: to get away from it all, and then subtly bring you back to reality and remind you how helpful routines are for long-term sanity. Refocusing after the holidays is necessary, but doesn’t have to be hard.

WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out this article on Keeping the School Rhythm Through the Holidays

7 tips for getting refocused after the holidays

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Photo credits: Renee Dolan Photography

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