This post was originally posted on Busabout: How to stop the post-holiday blues from dragging you down
Dreading the return to reality after the excitement of travelling? If you’ve been spending your days sleeping in, sipping cocktails by the pool or exploring exotic locations, the thought of returning home – and back to work – can really get you down. But feelings of dread don’t have to spoil the end of your trip. Here, we think about why we experience these feels and provide a few tips for kicking post-travel depression to the kerb.
Why Do We Experience Post-holiday Blues?
It’s perfectly natural to feel a bit flat after a holiday or break. In fact, the post-holiday blues phenomenon is so widespread it has its own Wikipedia page. As we readjust to our normal rhythm of life after a holiday, we start comparing the travel-inspired feelings of freedom and spontaneity with the day-to-day routine of reality. This may bring other dissatisfactions to the surface, particularly if you’re unhappy with aspects of your work or home life. However, these post-holiday feelings are usually temporary, and there are steps you can take to limit or prevent them.
Keep the Good Times Coming
Start researching and planning your next adventure as soon as possible – this will give you something to look forward to. Read travel blogs for inspiration, discuss destination ideas with your friends, and look out for cheap airfares.
Revisit Happy Memories
Looking through photos will remind you of happy moments during your trip and unique experiences you had while you were away. Reflect on what an incredible time you had, and don’t feel bad about being that person who talks about their holiday! You’ve earned the bragging rights.
If your next big trip is a while away, or perhaps not in the budget just yet, consider setting up a few weekend getaways to keep up your spirits in the meantime. Cheap and easy to organise, this will still give you the excitement of getting away from the ordinary (and keep you sane until the next big-scale adventure!)
Do What You Love
Whether it’s heading outside for some fresh air and exercise, or catching up with your friends and family – find ways to boost your mood to avoid getting stuck in a rut. Keep yourself busy, because there’s nothing worse than lying around at home, thinking about more exciting times. Have a look around, and you’ll find plenty of fun things to do in your own home town.
Take a Proactive Approach
Before you leave for your trip, you can take steps to reduce your chances of falling victim to the post-holiday blues. Getting straight back to business after weeks of leisure is likely to be a shock to the system. This is especially true if you fly in the night before or – hopefully not – the morning you return to work. If possible, try to leave yourself a couple of days off after your trip, so you can settle back into your home life. It’s also important to prepare for any worst-case scenarios. Taking out travel insurance before you go will help to make sure you’re not left thinking about what went wrong – such as flight cancellations, lost bags or stolen valuables.
Look For Those Silver Linings
Try to avoid making comparisons between your holiday and your workday routine. Focus instead on the everyday things you’re grateful for. This could be the morning coffee from your favourite cafe, or how your job allows you to earn travel money. By focusing on the positive, you’ll hopefully enjoy your next trip away even more knowing you won’t have to come home to a post-travel slump!