It can suck returning home from an exciting trip and back to normal everyday life. And with the Chinese New Year festivities slowly dying down, you start to realize that the March holidays are a distance away. But here’s a guide on how to cope with post-vacation blues to keep the Monday blues at bay.
Travelling can be an exhilarating experience. Whether you’re visiting a new place for the first time or returning to a favourite destination, the excitement and anticipation of having a break from your everyday routine are one of the most enjoyable parts of a vacation. Some come back with a refreshed state of mind but the rest of us…might be back with a renewed hatred for our jobs or schools. It is entirely normal that the fun wears off and the stark reality of returning to your everyday life can be more than a little disheartening.
Post-vacation blues, also known as post-vacation stress disorder or post-travel depression (PTD), can affect anyone who has just returned from a vacation. It is a feeling of sadness, depression, or anxiety that can occur after a period of relaxation and enjoyment. The symptoms of post-vacation blues can manifest itself as feelings of sadness, anxiety, depression, lack of motivation, and difficulty in concentrating, as well as physical symptoms such as fatigue and insomnia.
The first step in dealing with post-vacation blues is to understand that it is a real and common experience. Many people feel a sense of loss or disappointment when their vacation is over, and this is natural. However, it is important to recognize that post-vacation blues can be managed and overcome.
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1. Planning Your Post-Vacation
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One way to deal with post-vacation blues is to plan for it in advance. Before your vacation, set realistic expectations for what you’ll do when you return home. See friends or family, settle house chores beforehand, schedule appointments or errands, or even just set aside some time for yourself to relax and unwind. Having a positive post-vacation plan in place will help you feel more in control and less anxious about the transition back to your everyday routine.
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2. Take Time To Reflect
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A way to deal with post-vacation blues is to focus on the positive aspects of your vacation. Reflecting on the good times and the memories you made can help you to stay positive and appreciate the amazing time you had. Think about how you can continue to incorporate those positive feelings into your everyday life. This could include taking up a new hobby, trying a new restaurant, or even watching the latest Netflix series! You can also take this chance to practise gratitude and mindfulness.
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3. Exercise & Eat Well
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You would have definitely indulged in the delectable cuisines in the countries you’ve travelled to and may have put on some unwanted weight. But who wouldn’t when you’re surrounded by all that good food? But that’s why exercising and eating well after a vacation are that much more important for maintaining your physical and mental well-being.
Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine! This could be as simple as going for a walk or jogging, or as structured as joining a gym or taking a fitness class. Regular exercise releases endorphins, which can help boost your mood, reduce stress, boost energy levels, and improve overall health.
Eating a healthy diet doesn’t mean it has to be super strict. If you can, plan your meals in advance to try to include a variety of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins in your diet. If that’s too difficult, you can start small by avoiding processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive alcohol consumption. And of course, remember to stay hydrated! Avoid drastic changes or restrictive diets, instead, focus on making small, sustainable changes.
Incorporating physical activity into your daily routine, eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, meal prepping, avoiding overeating and gradual transitions are just some strategies to help you get back on track after vacation. Remember that taking care of your physical health will also impact your mental well-being. Hence, take the time to make healthy choices for yourself!
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4. Make Some Extra Transition Time For Yourself
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After a vacation, it’s vital to make time for yourself and do things that make you happy as returning to your daily grind suddenly might be too much of a whiplash. Plan a day or half-day after your vacation to ease back into your regular routine. Use this time to unpack, do laundry, and catch up on any important tasks or appointments. Daydreaming and reflecting on your vacation experiences and memories are also a plus in our books.
It’s necessary to take some time to readjust. From reading a book and taking yoga classes to journalling to relive the memories or simply taking a walk in nature, start doing things that make you feel relaxed and recharged. It’ll help lift your mood and get you back into the swing of things. Especially if you were in a different time zone.
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5. Reconnect With Friends & Family
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Making time to reconnect with friends and family after a vacation can help you get back into your usual routine. Spending quality time with the people you love and care about can be a great way to distract yourself from any lingering post-vacation blues. Alternatively, another way to deal with post-vacation blues is to stay connected with the people you met while on vacation. Whether through social media or by sending a postcard or email, staying in touch with the people you met on vacation can help you feel connected and remind you of the good times you had.
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6. Set New Goals
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Setting new goals and challenges for yourself can be a great way to keep busy and stay motivated. This can be anything from learning a new language to taking up a new hobby or even financial planning for your next big vacation. Financially planning for your vacation might even further motivate you to save more! Think about setting aside a portion of your income in a savings account just for that glamorous getaway. It doesn’t have to be much, but give it some time and discipline, and your money will add up. The important thing is to have something to look forward to. Having something else to focus on can help take your mind off the post-vacation blues and fill you with some positive anticipation of what’s to come.
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7. Get Organised
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Getting organised is a great way to stay on track with your daily life. Taking the time to go through your emails, bills, and other mundane tasks can help to make you feel more in control and less overwhelmed by the post-vacation blues.
Post-vacation blues can make it hard to get back into your regular routine, but with the right attitude and a few simple steps, you can make the transition a little easier. Getting organized helps provide a sense of structure and purpose after the relaxation and freedom of a vacation. Additionally, physically organizing your environment, such as your home or office, can also help create a sense of calm and order, which can be beneficial for mental well-being.
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8. Planning Your Next Vacation
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Even if it’s just a day trip or weekend getaway, having something to look forward to can help you stay motivated and excited about life. Plus, it’s a great way to keep your travel bug alive and well. Your next big trip might be at least another year away but if time and money allow, you can prepare for some small fun adventures to take in the near future.
You can also use the time to plan for more extensive trips where more coordination might be necessary — like backpacking, couchsurfing, etc. Take the time to build your itinerary and hunt for the best deals on tickets and accommodations.
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It’s Perfectly Fine To Feel This Way
Post-vacation blues is a common experience that can affect anyone who has just returned from a vacation. However, there are steps that can be taken to manage and overcome this feeling. These include planning for the transition back to everyday life, focusing on the positive aspects of your vacation, taking care of your physical and mental well-being, staying connected with people you met on vacation, planning your next vacation, and being gentle with yourself. Remember that the post-vacation blues is a normal experience, and it will mostly pass with time. However, if your symptoms persist, please seek help from professionals who might be able to assist you better.
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