businessman warming up on trackYou’ve opened up gifts, stuffed your belly and spent time with loved ones. Now it’s all coming to an end. And, for many workers, once the holidays have ended, so have their not-doing-work days. It’s extremely easy to get accustomed to being on vacation, even if it’s just for a short while.

But no matter how comfortable we get, at some point we all have to go back to work. Even though you know your vacation days are numbered, the idea of returning back to your typical 9-to-5 routine can be daunting. Is there any way to soften the inevitable blow?

Below are five steps you can take to get yourself back into the work mindset, post-holiday season:

1. Rest

You may be thinking, but this is what I’ve been doing this entire time, right? Well, yes, but you still need to rest up a little more before going back to work. Give yourself at least a day to relax, free of busy activities and functions.  Prepare yourself for work the night before you actually return to the office-iron work clothes, gather your work materials and work bag, set your alarm, go to bed on time. Just as they say you don’t want to go back to work the very next day after flying back home from out of town, you shouldn’t return to work without some time to fully relax and prepare the night before.

2. Head start

Now this may not sound appealing, but going into work a little early on your first day back can help jump-start your normal routine. Instead of dragging your feet out of bed and sluggishly returning to the office, going in earlier than normal will push you back into the familiar. This can also help you get a head start on your workload for the new year (or quarter).

3. Follow up

Many people go on vacation and leave behind unfinished work. Following up on emails, looking back at your past work history to see what you were working on before you left, and checking voice-mails and returning missed calls is a great way to get back into the swing of things.

4. Review

Take some time to review any goals for the new year, whether set by your employer, specific department, team or yourself. What do you hope to accomplish in 2013? What goals did you or your team set to wrap up 2012? Have you reached them? What steps do you need to take to fulfill each one? Reviewing your goals will help remind of you the necessary work you need to complete once your vacation has ended.

5. Converse

Don’t forget to make time to mingle with your coworkers once you return to work. Ask them how they spent their vacation time and compare stories on how all of you willed yourself back to work. Not only will this help you easily transition back into the work environment as the sense of familiarity and comfort takes over from chatting with your colleagues, you can also discover new ways of preparing yourself to go back to work as you learn what did and did not work for the others on your team.

A lot of Americans are considered workaholics, but almost every worker may find it difficult to return to the work functions and mindset after a vacation, especially an extended one completely unrelated to his or her job. There are many tricks and tips to get your mind focused and prepared to returning to work. Don’t see one of the ways you get yourself back into the work mindset on this list? Recruiter.com encourages you to share it below!

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