Have you ever felt a lingering sadness after returning home from a vacation? Maybe it feels like a lack of purpose? It’s an odd feeling because you should be refreshed and rejuvenated and ready to tackle the world, but you aren’t able to and feel like you lack the motivation to do anything. This is called post vacation blues and they are feel.
I am feeling the post vacation blues right now. Just over a week ago, I returned with my family from Beaches Resort in Turks and Caicos and it was one of the best family vacations we have ever had. Without that sun, sand, water and Pina colada in hand, it’s hard to be motivated to do anything. I’m unfocused and scattered. And while this isn’t the first time I have had this feeling, I think this is the worst I’ve ever gone through. I got home and had to dive back into a full work plate.
When our plane was taking off on the runway to come home, there were tears streaming down my son’s cheeks because he didn’t want to leave. It was a sweet moment to know what an amazing vacation we had put together for him to be feeling that way when we left. He kept saying before we left for the airport that he didn’t want to leave and asked if we could stay just one more day.
I felt what my son did too, I did not want to leave. I could have used another week away from work and my computer. It took me a couple days after being home, but I was soon into this thick fog of being fairly dissatisfied with my life.
How Do I Know If I Have
Post Vacation Blues?
If you are recently back from a trip or a vacation and you are feeling anxious or depressed, that’s likely the cause. You could also be irritable, feeling tired, have a headache or want to be left alone. It is honestly difficult to acclimatize back into regular, daily life of work and responsibility after getting used to lying on the beach or not having a set agenda every day or falling in love with a new place that you did not want to leave.
Sometimes we are also dealing with two other factors – reverse culture shock, which is getting used to being at home again after being used to “living” another way. The other is financial shock. That’s the shock of checking your credit card statements and balances once you’re home and realizing how much you have spent if you were buying extra experiences, food, drink, accommodations and all.
My son is now happily running around with his friends at school. I, on the other card do not even have enough focus to plan my next vacation with my daughter.
How Do You Cope With
Post Vacation Blues?
Book Another Trip!
One of the first things I typically do to beat the depression after vacation is to book another trip. If I don’t have the financial means to book it immediately, and let’s be honest, the vast majority of us save our money for a year before we can take that vacation, I at least start to plan it. I look at where I want to go next, what experiences can I have, who will I travel with?
Look On the Bright Side
I’ll try to turn the post vacation blues into a benefit to think about how fortunate I am to have had this experience. I’ll frame it to myself as how amazing it was to have shown this to my kids, not what a bummer it is to be home.
Give Yourself Time To Adjust
If you can give yourself a day or two buffer between your arrival home and having to re-enter the workforce, do it. Organize your photos, do your laundry, get back into your time zone if you have jet lag.
Book Social Events
Don’t sit around at home. Make plans to see friends or colleague socially so you’re not siting at home and work all the time.
Get Back Into Routine
Get back into the gym on a regular basis if that is something you do. If it’s not something you do regularly, consider doing so. The good endorphins that emerge after physical activity are mood stimulators.I’ve never heard anyone regret a workout. And you’ll be healthier.
Decorate Your Work Space and/or Home With A Souvenir
Whether you frame a picture (or two), or have brought back a memento, display it. It’s inspiration for the next trip!
The depression after travel helps us all to look at what we are happy with in our life and what we are not happy with. Really hits home when you want to change the direction of your sails. We are all responsible for our own happiness, right?
Do Not Do The Following:
That said, when you are in post vacation depression, do not make massive life changes. Do not sell your house, ask for a divorce or liquidate assets. Really think about what you are doing and why. This is not the time to make rash changes.
I do want to add, as an ending note, if you find yourself feeling the post vacation blues for longer than a couple weeks and you find yourself in a severe depression or having thoughts of harming yourself, please seek help immediately. There are something that jumping back on a plane cannot cure.
Have you ever suffered post vacation blues? How long did they last? What did you do to shake them? Comment with your suggestions below.