I’ve just returned to Shanghai from 6 weeks back at home in Melbourne, Australia…… and on this occasion I wasn’t overly overjoyed to be returning to a cold ‘hazy’ winter from an Australian summer. Lucky for me I had a husband to return to and a great bunch of friends awaiting a good catch up.
Each time I am away, I tend to get very nostalgic and I find clarity about how I wish to live my days and tend to find certainty around the things that I love to indulge in and that make me happy — hence why we need to take time for breaks. Albeit some may find this post a little self indulgent — but in my experience a happy me, results in happy people around me.
Here are a couple of things I have learnt on my return trips back to Shanghai
- It never gets easier to leave my family and friends
- It's up to me to bring the light back to what I could easily make a dark and gloomy week — or in fact many weeks
- Holidays never last forever — but how I transition back is in my control
- Reflecting on my needs and desires on how I wish to settle back in Shanghai should be considered ahead of time — that way I can plan and make them happen. I suggest brainstorming and jotting these down.
- Bring back some of your life’s luxuries to indulge and enjoy when you are back — chocolate, cooking condiments, paper magazines, new craft projects, your favourite tea, a new cookbook.
Finding lightness and ease in settling back in after a holiday
- Plan to take the next day or 2 off before returning to work to ease back in and get your sanctuary in order. Or return home 2 days before work — no one likes their first day back at work — you know that work hangover feeling!
- Organise for your partner/ house mate to cook you a healthy meal that lights your eyes up for the night you return, or better yet freeze a meal before you go.
- Fresh sheets? Yes make sure these are on your bed before you depart for your holiday
- Take a shower — use your favourite body wash and wipe off that long flight
- Leave the TV for the night and tuck in for an early night or a chapter of your book
Day 1 - AND SHE'S BACK
- Plan your meals and lunches for the next 5 days — keep it fresh, light, homely and simple
- Need some inspiration — www.donnahay.com.au
- Make an online food order/ delivery so you don’t need to rush out and around killing that holiday vibe you worked hard for
- Unpack your clothes out of their suitcase, put your must have dirty items in the wash and mindfully negotiate with yourself about putting the clothes away over the next few days
- Hit your favourite cafe and journal what you would like to achieve for your new week ahead (keep it light)
- Run a bath before bed with your favourite essential oil (ylang ylang is my go to) or partake in a 30 minute restorative yoga session before you hit the pillow — guaranteed bliss
Day 2 - The Day After Being Back
- Bake and prepare some snacks for the week ahead — need some inspiration try Martina’s healthy and tasty Lentil Energy Balls or this delicious Banana and Date Loaf.
- Pick up that journal and your Needs / Desires list and start planning these in to your week, over a cup of coffee or your favourite tea
- Schedule and book your fitness classes or exercises, book a massage for later in the week after work to get you back over the hump, organise a catchup to remind you of the good friends you have in Shanghai
- Plan your favourite Shanghai activity for the coming weekend
- Repeat - Run a bath before bed with your favourite essential oil or partake in a 30 minute restorative yoga session before you hit the pillow
- If you have the option, organise for Ayi to pop by later in the week and assist you to clean up the bomb of coming home and unpacking.
- Lay out your clothes for your return to work and pack that healthy happy lunch that makes you look forward to lunch time P.S avoid scheduling meetings for your first day back (and no checking emails the night before — I kindly remind you that work will always be there).
A few helpful others
- Print your favourite holiday snaps and place them around your sanctuary
- Keep any new purchases and holiday mementos nearby for play time
- Keep up the routine of Day 1 & 2 and spread these across each week over the coming weeks
- Keep your eye on the clock - make sure you leave on time for your first week back - work will always be there
- Plan activities that excite you for your month ahead — your favourite walk, restaurant, that book you’ve been dying to read, catching up with that friend you haven’t seen for weeks, a new fitness or wellbeing goal
- Get planning that next trip — your work productivity levels will thank you for it.