By Meredith Lepore 

One of the hardest days for employees is that first one when you come back from vacation. You were relaxed, you were tan and being buzzed at 3 pm was perfectly acceptable. Mindfulness expert Leo Babuta describes vacation mindset as “Vacation mind … is just present in the current moment. Time is less important, enjoying yourself is the priority. So what does it look like when you apply vacation mind to work? You let go of the anxiety. You aren’t worried about getting it all done, or doing the right thing right now, or all the things you have to do later. You are immersed in enjoying whatever you’ve chosen to do right now.”

But just because you no longer have sand in between your toes doesn’t mean that positive vacation mindset has to be over. There are ways to preserve that attitude. Here are a few tips that make even your desk feel like you are back on the beach.

1. Find your vacation scent

We all know that scent is one of the strongest memory triggers so why not bring it to your office? Heather Lilleston, the founder of Yoga for Bad People, leads yoga retreats in some of the most beautiful locations all over the world.

She just partnered with CLEAN Reserve on its fragrance, Acqua Neroli which is inspired by the citrus-scented breezes of the Amalfi Coast. Lilleston told Well + Good, “You drop back to the emotional place you were in when you first smelled that scent. When I smell the sea breeze with eucalyptus trees, it reminds me of home and feels comforting.”

2. Green it up

While you are finding your vacation scents grab some flowers or succulents to get a little more green on your desk. A recent study found that hospital patients in a room with a view of a natural setting recovered faster and relied on drugs less than patients whose windows faced a brick wall.

Or just a little walk outside when you have time for a break.

3. Switch up your commute

Your daily commute makes you feel about as far away from a nice, relaxing vacation as can be so why not switch it up a little? After all, vacation is all about seeing new things and taking a different path to work, even if it is only slightly different, will take you back to that mindset.

4. Pick a vacation theme song

Similar to the scent idea, having a song that takes you back to your happy place can do wonders for putting you in a good mood. Just be sure you definitely pick a song while you are on vacation.

Colorado-based Lauren E. Miller, the author of 5-Minutes To Stress Release, told Glamour, “When things get stressful at work, put the earphones on and play that song — it will bring you back to a more relaxed mindset and make your brain more open to problem-solving.”

5. Eat something different for lunch

Do not immediately return to your old lunch spot. Instead, try something new! After all, vacations often involve trying new cuisines so keep it up when you are back at work. No more sad desk lunch!

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