Keep calm: 6 ways to battle post-vacation blues

Here are six ways that can help you come back to reality

Manaal Khurram August 23, 2016

People who go on holiday often find themselves experiencing post-travel depression, more commonly known as post-vacation blues. The condition is marked by an overall decrease in well-being and work productivity following a satisfying vacation.

Having to get back into the routine of work, school and daily life in general can be a source of distress, disorientation and discomfort. However, as unpleasant as it may be, this feeling can be overcome with a little determination, some self-car and a few insightful lessons learned from the vacation itself. As compiled from The Huffington Post, here are six ways that can help you come back to reality.

1. Adjust your sleep schedule ahead of time

Many travelers experience jet lag after traveling, especially if the trip crossed one or more time zones.  Jet lag can affect your ability to sleep on a normal schedule, and that lack of sleep quality and quantity could make you feel disoriented and depressed that your vacation is over. So, get yourself re-acclimated to your time zone by getting up and going to bed several hours earlier or later (depending on which way you’re traveling) for several days before your planned return.

2. Exercise while you’re on vacation

Having a workout routine that you stick to while traveling can help keep you in shape and reduce stress and fatigue. If you continue the workout regimen after returning from a trip, your body will have a sense of physical stability. Exercising while you travel may seem daunting, but with a little planning, it can be very easy to accommodate. Pack a pair of athletic shoes and some workout clothes or just put on your swimsuit and swim laps in the pool at your hotel.

3. Introduce elements of your trip into your daily life

While you may not be able to jet set across the globe every week, you can incorporate some of the things you enjoyed into your life back home. If you really enjoyed a certain cuisine on your trip, make a point of learning to cook dishes from that culture. If you loved hearing and speaking a foreign language, commit to taking language or culture classes.  By infusing your home life with elements of your trip, you can keep the excitement and sense of discovery alive, wherever you live.

4. Bring a vacation souvenir back to your workplace

If you’re worried you might have a hard time settling back into work, school, or just being home in general, having a souvenir around might make that transition a little smoother. Souvenirs can remind you of the fun time you had and studies have shown that imagining being back in a fun, relaxing place is often enough to relieve stress and anxiety after returning from a big trip.

5. Begin planning your next vacation

Having another vacation on the horizon, even if it won’t be for quite a long time, can help one re-adjust. Knowing something just as fun as your previous trip is planned for the future will brighten up your day and give you something to look forward to. Any time you find yourself feeling down; think about fun things you’d like to do on your next trip. You can even begin researching the things you’d like to see and do in your free time. However, we would advise you no to do this at work or you may get in trouble!

6. Enjoy the experiences and memories you have

In many cases, changing the way you think about something can alter the way you feel about it too. This type of cognitive shift may not happen overnight, but with regular practice you can change your frame of mind to appreciate the experiences you’ve had, rather than mourning the inevitable end of it. Try to see the enjoyable moments of your trip as part of a lifelong series of new experiences and lasting memories. Be grateful that you had the chance to experience such a vacation.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 24th, 2016.

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