June 28, 2023

By Jeff Becraft


I was speaking at a camp for a children’s home last week.  This particular camp happened to be at the beach… at Garden City Chapel. And now, this week, I find myself back in an office.  Now, I enjoy my job and I enjoy the people I get to work with and I really believe in the mission… but it’s not like walking on the beach or jumping in the pool.

Last week, even though it is a very physically demanding time, it’s also a lot of fun. There are times for going to the beach. There are times we are going to the pool. There are other times where I get to speak to the group. There are times of eating ice cream. But Monday, I was back in the office.

There are what are called the “post-retreat blahs”… or the post-vacation blahs.

You spent a week and maybe you went somewhere and you didn’t wear any real shoes all week. And then you’re back in the office (or wherever your job is) and it’s kind of like re-entering the atmosphere.

It’s not that I don’t like work and it’s not like I don’t like what I’m doing. I really like what I’m doing. But it’s that transition of going from being at a retreat or camp or vacation and all those experiences, back to the routine of being in an office.

I never read the book… but I heard about a book over 25 years ago. A guy I heard speak was reading the book at the time. (I had a person who laughed at me all the time because I’d be quoting all these books I had never read but simply had heard about and I believed in the principle that they were promoting.)  This was one of those books.  I don’t even know who wrote it but they get the credit for the concept.

The book talks about mini-vacations during the day. A mini vacation would be something like going to the mailbox, which is something I like to do on a regular basis.  (I realize some people don’t have that liberty; you might be a CEO of a large company or you might be up on the 18th floor and walking outside to the mailbox just isn’t feasible for you.) But for me, our office is on the ground floor right by the outside door of the building and the mailbox is on the property right next to us. The excursion is a mini vacation in my day that takes about 60 seconds.  I get away from the desk, I get outside, and that short walk is a refreshing mini-vacation.

For those who go through the post-vacation blahs or simply get back into the mindset of “business as usual,” I have encouraged them over the years, saying, “Put a little retreat or vacation in your day. What did you do while you were at the retreat? What did you do while you were on vacation? Take a little bit of that and put it in your day.” And that would be a mini-vacation.

A lot of times we do one thing on vacation and then we just totally drop that when we get back home and we just go back to our routine. For instance, at last week’s retreat, there was no TV and cell phones were very, very limited in their use. Everyone had a blast. Just think about that.  But we will get back home and we’ll just go right back to what our normal routine is… and we’ll leave out some of those important dynamics or principles that we lived by on vacation… and then we wonder why we’re not as excited as we were last week.

So… it’s a great day to put a little retreat or vacation in your day today.  And if you really want to get hippie about it, take off your shoes for that walk to the mailbox.


Jeff Becraft is the Interim Director of Our Place of Hope and the Director Emeritus for Youth Corps and has dedicated much of his life to helping shift the vision of people’s lives. Youth Corps is a life-changing leadership development experience that inspires high school students to be leaders in the Midlands and beyond. You can connect with Jeff at  [email protected].