THE BLOG
08/20/2013 03:07 pm ET | Updated Oct 20, 2013

Why Can't the Effect of a Vacation Last?

So, we finally take a much-needed rest to rejuvenate. We figure out ways to juggle work and family responsibilities, scheduling in some "me-time" for ourselves. Our tone of voice relaxes, we breathe deeper and we even let the little girl in us come out to play.

But, like all good things, our vacation comes to an end and we are back at our jobs. We write a "to-do" list several pages long and today's full-blown crisis seems to have no resolution in sight. Our vacation glow is now covered over by the stress of the moment. We listen as we speak and notice that our voice is tense. Once again, feelings of overwhelm take control.

Who took my sparkle?
To answer the question honestly, you took your sparkle. And just as you took it away, you can give it back to yourself, if you choose to. To help you do this, here are some tips:

Pause between activities
Often, we get caught up in the rush of an activity, feeling as if there's never enough time to do what we have to do. Thinking this way only creates greater frenzy and a self-fulfilling prophecy. We end up not having enough time. It's useful to stop whatever you're doing when a never-enough-time attack comes on and pause for a moment.

It's a simple practice to incorporate into your routine after you complete a task. Just stop for a few seconds and rest before you go to something else. You'd be surprised what can result by taking this action -- try it and see what happens.

Use the right amount of energy
Let's say the energy in your body was equated to a certain number of sugar cubes, 100 for the sake of demonstration. To resolve a problem with a client, you need to use 5 energy cubes, but you tack on worry to the equation, so you expend 10 cubes instead. With awareness, you can eliminate worry -- it serves no purpose.

Keep a special reminder on your desk
Sometimes a word like BREATHE, or even an affirmation, "I approach things with a light touch and don't take myself so seriously," can do the trick. It can also be a small object that reminds you of a peaceful or fun time.

Enjoy Everyday Pleasures
In order to recharge, you don't have to take time off from work. All you need is a few minutes a day to reconnect with the things that make you joyful. Look forward to and truly take pleasure in calling a friend, splurging on a special dessert or picking up a new book.

Take time to reflect
Start your day with five minutes of quiet time. Even before you brush your teeth, sit in a comfortable chair on even on your bed, and allow your mind to focus on something meaningful. There is no agenda, just reflect. Give yourself the gift of this time.

This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post in conjunction with our women's conference, "The Third Metric: Redefining Success Beyond Money & Power," which took place in New York on June 6, 2013. To read all of the posts in the series and learn more about the conference, click here. Join the conversation on Twitter #ThirdMetric.

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