To-Done has a really good post with some recommendations on Dealing With E-mail After Vacation.
This helped quite a bit. I was caught up with my important stuff almost immediately. Was able to be responsive to new stuff my first day back, and probably most importantly, I felt like I had control over the situation, which, coming back from a honeymoon with lots to do, really helped. I’d have been a total stress-ball had I not had this under control.
Then I created a few temporary folders to help me sort my e-mail. I tried something I’d never done. I made two folders; “personal” and “work” and in each of those I made three folders; “Monday”, “Tuesday” and “Wednesday.” I went through my e-mail and sorted most of these into those folders as quickly as I could. Of course I found a few that I dealt with right then, either because they were important or easy. This took about an hour and a half, but my inbox was empty before I even got started really dealing with it. This took some stress off right then because I would not have to worry about mail coming in and getting mixed up with stuff I’d not processed.
Anyway, it’s worth a read.