The Covert Stress of Reentry

14973731919_7530d9b4e0_zOne of the biggest pain points for frequent travelers doesn’t even happen on the road, but at home. It’s that window between when your body walks in the door after a trip, and when your mind and heart settle in. You made it home—that’s the good news. But chances are, you’ve arrived tired, stressed, and (often) hungry, a recipe for an adult meltdown, if you’re not careful. That’s the bad news.

Reentry is often overlooked as being stressful because it’s on the home side of the trip. After all, aren’t you so, so happy to be home? And chances are that your loved ones have missed you, too, so they dive at you, ready to have you all to themselves finally. All good, right? Not really. You may very well not be ready.

I’ve noticed that even if I get home from a trip at 2 a.m., I need to sit and acclimate to being home—sort of soak it all in–for at least an hour before heading to bed. And when we first were married, my husband reported that I acted like he was a stranger when I returned from a trip. He’d only regain the real me 24 hours later. I probably still do that, but we’re just accustomed to it now.

On a recent Michael Hyatt podcast, Michele Cushatt reported that after her almost-weekly trips she schedules one day of doing nothing but restorative things, to regain herself before continuing the week. Another frequent traveler I know has a ritual of unpacking his suitcase immediately, no matter what the time. It’s his way of signaling to himself that he’s making a clean break of the travel…he’s really home.

What do you do when you get home from a trip to ease the reentry?

Photo: Flickr/Hernan Pinera

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