There is nothing quite like a holiday to raise your happiness levels. New sights, sounds, experiences, memories. A break from the everyday. A chance to spend quality time with loved ones. Time to relax, have fun and just leave it all behind for a while.
They say time flies whilst you’re having fun and before you know it you’re packing your bags once again to return home.
The end of a holiday and a return to normality can feel quite deflating. It’s exceptionally common to experience the post-holiday blues. I know I do!
However, there are a few tricks I use to help keep those blues at bay…
– Plan forward –
I know people, who without fail, make their first stop the travel agents post-holiday. Before you can say ‘holiday clothes washing’, they’ve booked their next break. Having a new holiday to look forward to is a great way to help you lose the blues surrounding being back from the last one. However, this isn’t financially possible for everyone. So what to do?
Planning forward doesn’t only relate to booking your next holiday. The key is to have something already confirmed and in the diary for you to look forward to relatively soon after coming home. It could be some theatre tickets, a concert, a day out, a mini-break somewhere. And if that is still too much for the budget, select something that you would look forward to which sits comfortably with your bank balance. Anything so that when your brain says, I’m sad, you can immediately amend it to, I’m sad but I’m looking forward to…
– Gradual re-induction –
It can be really overwhelming to instantly be thrown back into normality the moment you arrive home. There’s no-one to make your bed or cook for you (unless you still live at home with your mum!) You’re suddenly stuck on your sofa rather than a lounger by the pool. Even worse, you could arrive home with the knowledge you are straight back to work the next day!
Where possible, attempt to ease yourself back in gradually. Yes there will be things that just can’t wait, but can you give yourself just one more night off from cooking? How about you treat yourself to a nice breakfast before heading into work? What about arranging a post-work drink with a colleague or friend?
Personally I find organising as much as I can in advance for our return, helps to give me some space and buy some more time for when we get back. For example, making sure we have some clean and ready to wear clothes at home, delays the urgency of unpacking. Scheduling an online food shop for delivery when we get back, eliminates my need to trudge the supermarket aisles within a few hours of arriving home. Just little things that provide an opportunity to escape the everyday routine for just that little bit longer.
– Retain your link –
I have family abroad. Whenever we return home from visiting them, I feel the post-holiday blues particularly badly. It’s a sense of sudden cut-off and it’s very sad. However, thankfully nowadays – with all the communication apps available – I can keep in touch with them easily and cheaply. So I make a point to retain a higher level of contact with them. It helps to still feel connected.
Regardless of whether you know people in the country you visited or not, a useful way to reduce the post-holiday blues is not to cut yourself off completely. Spend time looking at your photos/videos. Can you create albums? Are there any you want to print off and display around your house? How about your souvenirs? Was there anything from the country you visited that you would like to introduce into your home? (I know I’m desperate to get my kitchen decked out in some patterned Maltese tiles!)
Was there any food or drink that you particularly enjoyed whilst away? How about a themed food-night where you eat food and drink related to where you visited. If you bought any culinary treats back with you – now’s the time to indulge!
And lets not forget review sites. Sitting and writing reviews for the places you stayed or visited will help with your connection. Apart from helping future travellers, it can be quite cathartic to write/talk about where you’ve been.
– Restart your health kick –
How many of us leading up to a holiday follow pre-holiday diets and exercise? And how many of us post-holiday never pick them up again until the next holiday starts to come around? Personally I have fallen off the healthy eating and exercise band wagon one too many times for my liking. I know going back to eating sensibly and re-starting exercise can seem like asking too much, especially if you have an acute case of the post-holiday blues, but it’s actually really beneficial.
Looking after ourselves naturally improves our mental state. Endorphins created during exercise help to make us feel happier and more positive, the perfect antidote to the post-holiday blues. Even if you weren’t on a pre-holiday health kick, post-holiday is still a great time to start.
– Focus on your future goals –
My mantra leading up to a holiday is often – I’ll work on that when I go back. Well, you’re back! Time to look at the goals you’ve been avoiding stating your impending holiday as an excuse. Your goals are unique to you and they don’t have to be career related. Dig out the dream boards, look up the online course, make that appointment, whatever is important to you. Giving yourself goals redirects your focus forward making your post-holiday blues a thing of the past.
Need some help moving forward with your goals? Read: Stopping Self-Sabotage – a journey to break the habit.
Good luck with overcoming your post-holiday blues! Have you been anywhere nice? I’d love to hear about your adventures! Do you have any other ways to make yourself feel happier post-holiday? Get in touch by leaving a comment in the box below!