Plan your comeback
Vacation stands as a great divide between what has been and what will be. Your mind is rested, your motivation is likely to be high: isn’t this the best time to take control and decide how you will face your upcoming duties?
Instead of jumping headfirst into work, try to envision a plan.
Set your priorities, focus on what’s important - and if you can’t avoid some overload, impose yourself not to overwork: you’ll lose nothing if you’ll just leave the office at an appropriate hour in your first days.
Remember your holidays
These summer weeks off made you feel good. There’s no reason not to keep that good with you: wear something you bought, use a photo you’ve taken as a desktop background.
Not for the sake of nostalgia, but to keep the good that this holiday has brought to you.
Set some buffer time
Just as your head needed a couple of days to adjust to “holiday mode”, allow a similar time to regain some office confidence at a natural pace.
Do not overstuff your first days with meetings, try to spare yourself some early deadline, and above all do not let your email inbox overwhelm you! Those messages have been waiting for a week or two - most of them can easily stay unread for one more day.
If you happen to have little or no control over your upcoming workload, consider not coming back for a full first week: starting on a wednesday would be a good compromise.
Keep yourself excited
Just like when you were younger, and the end of summer meant “back to school”, you can find plenty of reasons to look forward to your everyday life.
You may feel thrilled about a forthcoming project, or simply because you were missing that colleague you work so well with.
If none of this inspires you, well… time to be excited about looking for a new job!
Consider vacation as a state of mind
The key difference between work and vacation is that on vacation (mostly) no-one is expecting anything from you. Actually, the more stressful expectations come from yourself - and the good news are that you are perfectly capable of managing your own expectations.
Working in “holiday mode” doesn’t mean wasting your days at the water cooler: it’s more like working “in the moment”, focusing on what you’re doing, with no additional worries.
Almost like at the beach.