How to get past the re-entry blahhhhs

I really wish I was one of those people (like my husband) who unpacks their suitcase the day they get home and jumps back into life after a good night’s sleep and a strong cup of coffee.

But I’m not.

I always go through a period of feeling really blahhhhh in re-entry. Of not wanting to let go of where I just was.

After my most recent trip the blahs hit me about a week after flying home. It’s not like I couldn’t get out of bed; I was just sad that I wasn’t abroad and I had zero desire to tackle my to-do list.


I’ve finally accepted that I need time and space to transition back into life after being away – even if I’ve only been away a couple weeks. I ignored this need for many years and ended up exhausted, stressed out, and unhappy.

Before my recent trip to the UK I decided to do things differently. This time I created a mini re-entry relaunch plan:

  1. I flew home on a Friday so I’d have the weekend to get over jet lag.
  2. I postponed a couple projects and meetings so I could spend my first week back focusing on the ones that needed my immediate attention. This enabled me to get organized, complete my projects, and facilitate a weekend workshop without spreading myself too thin.
  3. I gave myself permission to relax. I got lots of sleep,  watched a lot of Hulu, and spent lots of time reconnecting with my family.

It wasn’t long before I woke up one morning refreshed and renewed. The re-entry blahhhhs were gone.


If you get the re-entry blahs consider creating a mini re-entry relaunch plan before your next stint abroad. Here are three simple questions that will help you create your plan:

  • How do you experience re-entry?
  • How can you best take care of yourself?
  • How can you ensure that you’ll take care of yourself?

What’s a piece of your re-entry plan?



photo credit: WilliamMarlow via photopin cc



About Author

Hello, I'm Dr. Cate Brubaker! Are you a returnee who has been surprised to find your return "home" harder than going abroad? I created the Re-entry Roadmap workbook just for you. If you work with returnees, I'm here to help you with innovative resources and training that will make it easier to provide meaningful support for your returnees.