Tips to Beat the Post Vacay Slump


You’ve booked your beach vacation! Your motivation towards your fitness goals is at an all-time high, and you’ve never been more committed or worked harder. This time round, you feel super confident on the beach and are basking in the glory at bearing it all! What a time to be alive! While you are super proud of what you have accomplished pre-vacay, holding onto that motivation once the ultimate goal has been accomplished becomes tricky. To be honest, this is what separates the people who make their health and fitness a lifestyle, and those who look at their health and fitness as a temporary accessory, a trend, or a fling. Those who go on seasonal flings, and ups and downs with their fitness, or do crazy last minute diets, or always playing the short game. The short game is easy, but comes with constant sense of suffering. The long game is definitely harder, but you see little successes and rewards along the way so you your experience is generally happy and positive, even when it’s negative.


Here are my tips for keeping your gym routine on track after vacation:


  1. Take the week off:


It’s very common to feel like you haven’t earned another week off the gym when you’ve just had time away. You may have eaten more than you wanted, had more alcohol than your liver can handle, and you feel terrible. The last thing you want to do is skip the gym. However, I’ve seen more than a few cases of people rushing back to training too soon before their body has adjusted from whatever time zone they just came from, as well as the re-introduction to their old routine. You may feel more enlightened and refreshed from being away, but your body may not have caught up to your brain just yet. Airports and planes are dirty and travel in general causes a weak immune system. Food off of your normal diet, alcohol, other partying endeavours, is very off our norm so that’s going to cause some sort of stress. When you come back home, your immune system is going to be weakened and I’ve seen so many cases of clients rushing back to training only to quit halfway through the session, then suffer a brutal cold they can’t shake for the next 2 weeks. Now they are dealing with being sick, so their gym routine is postponed even further and this can risk a massive slump in motivation. I’ve seen this so many times I’ve created my own rule for clients post-vacay: they need to take at least 5-7 days off before returning to the gym. The gym is always going to be there, there’s no point in rushing back in. Don’t put any stress on yourself, ease into it and get your body used to lifting weights again, but take it easy on rushing back into your harder routine. The first week back, focus on catching up on sleep, work, and getting your meal plan back on track.



  1. Get your meal plan on track:


We need to restock the fridge after vacation, so might as well get all the foods on your meal plan and make your fridge look healthy again. The gym can wait, your meals can’t…easing back into your meal plan can get you mentally back in check. By the end of your first week back from vacation you should be 100% back on track. Focus on the meal plan first, start your prep schedule again, and then get back into the gym.


  1. Pick up a few yoga sessions:

Your weight training schedule may seem daunting, and your body still feels exhausted. Getting back into your work and eating schedule is hard enough, but you still want to adjust into a gym routine again. I suggest picking up a few hot yoga or yoga sessions to relax and zen out your body, bring down cortisol (our stress hormone), so you are in a good head space and don’t feel so overwhelmed.


  1. Prioritize sleep over the gym:


When we are away from our own beds, research supports the fact we sleep with only half our brain. It’s a survival mechanism bred into humans through evolution, and could be the same reason we get a better night’s sleep when we are next to our partners or ones we love. There is safety in numbers, and there is safety in your own habitat. The hotel bed may be more comfortable than your own at home (or not), but either way you are suffering from lack of sleep whether you feel it or not. One thing is for sure, you will feel it when you get home. Studies show how our brain will collect sleep debt, which means our brain logs the hours of missed sleep and will try to make up for it the next chance it gets (All of this information is in the Joe Rogan podcast, an amazing podcast by the way!). When you get home, you will be feeling exhausted due to this fact alone, but also because of the fact you are not sleeping in your own home.

When you come back home from vacation, make sure you prioritize sleep over the gym for the first week. If you feel like you need to take a nap, or go to bed earlier than normal…than do it. By the 2nd week back from vacation you should feel well rested and ready to take on the next phase of your workout routine.


  1. Drink tons of water:

Planes, airports, hotels, travel in general is dehydrating. If you are flying a lot, make sure you are drinking a ton of water, at least 1L before the plane and after. When you get home from vacation make sure you hydrate yourself. You should be consuming minimum 4-5L of water per day to make up for the dehydration travel occurs.


While away from vacation we feel more clear headed and a big sense of freedom, which is bound to happen when were are away from the everyday stresses of our daily routines. Time lines don’t matter, emails don’t need to be answered or at least pushed back, we feel more relaxed and can find a new sense of motivation. You start to think of all the things you can get done while you are away and have a birds’ eye view at your day to day life. We want to hold onto this feeling of euphoria and everything we schemed up while we were away, and bring it home with us. Don’t bite off more than you can chew, ease back into your routine and don’t stress out if you don’t bounce back right away. Don’t throw in the towel when motivation is low, or when situations are not favourable. Do what you can with what you have, don’t beat yourself up, stay positive, and have fun on the journey.