Nutrition Curator
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Two weeks ago I got back from my summer trip and felt completely overwhelmed with the stress of coming home. Post-vacation blues are real. Getting back into the swing of things can be hard. And for people who turn to food for comfort, it can trigger emotional eating. So while on the surface this post may not seem related to food at all, it actually has more to do with nutrition than you think.

In fact, I spend a lot of time helping clients cope with stress just so they can eat better. Sure, some of the stress can be trivial, but that doesn't diminish the need to address it. If you ignore the root of the problem, everything else is just a band-aid solution.

So, let's talk about the stress of coming back to reality. Over the years, I have found certain tricks that help me adjust, and I am sharing them here, hoping they help you too. 

1. Unpack as quickly as possible.

While this is the last thing I want to do after a long flight home, unpacking instantly makes me feel more settled. I am someone who cannot stand clutter. So once I am home, having all my clothes in order and my suitcase out of sight is very important. It helps me be feel more relaxed and allows me to be productive in my own space.

2. Restock the fridge as soon as you can.

Whenever I go away, I try to leave my fridge as empty as possible so I don’t waste any perishable food. But that means that I also come home to a mostly empty fridge. This can be both unwelcoming (who likes living with an empty fridge?) and frustrating (...when you want something as simple as milk for your morning tea/coffee). To avoid this, I’ll either place a grocery order to be delivered when I get home, or I’ll run out and get the essentials as soon as I get unpacked. 

3. Make a to-do list.

Between work, life, and general household needs, figuring out what to do first can be daunting. Before I start on anything, I make a to-do list. I find that making a list helps me see things more clearly. Then, I can tackle each task strategically without getting overwhelmed.

4. Book a workout class and go.

While I always try to stay somewhat active on vacation, it never holds a candle to my workout routine at home. Because of this, it can be intimidating to get back into it. Booking a class is the best way to get you through the door. Let the instructor motivate you with the rest. Trust me, you'll be so happy you went!

5. See your friends.

When I’m away, I try to remain present and off my phone as much as possible. Unfortunately, this means I speak to my friends less than usual. Making plans to see them when I get back not only helps us catch up on everything that happened while I was gone, but it also makes me happy to be home.

6.  Cook something (healthy!) in your kitchen.

As someone who loves dining out, I do believe there's nothing like a home-cooked meal. On my most recent trip, I went to France where every fruit, vegetable, and piece of fish was as fresh as can be. And while I enjoyed each bite, and the fact that I didn't have to cook a thing, I definitely missed some foods from my own kitchen. Being able to cook my own food, my own way, in my own kitchen makes me truly appreciate the concept of "being home" ...something vacation can never, and will never be.