Do you know that gloomy feeling after a great vacation, where you return home and everything seems so incredibly normal? That your usual life suddenly feels boring and you lack energy to go out and make something of your time? If you do, you’re not alone! Many people who travel find themselves experiencing post-vacation blues. Having to get back into the routine of work, studies and daily life can be a source of discomfort, distress and disorientation. But however unpleasant it may be, the post-vacation blues can be overcome with a couple of tips and tricks.
1. Adjust your sleep schedule ahead of time
If your holiday destination is in a different time zone, chances are that you’ll suffer from jet lag when you return. With sleep deprivation, chances are that you’ll be less able to handle the transition to home life. If you can adjust your sleep schedule already while on vacation, you’ll make the transition easier for yourself. There even are apps to help you adjust to your specific time difference (for example time shifter and jet lag rooster).
2. Stick to your healthy habits while on vacation
It might be tempting to stop your workout routine, eat everything you want and end each day with a couple of sundowners during your vacation, but you’re actually doing yourself favor by minding your health on vacation as well. Exercise helps to reduce stress and release endorphins. Going for healthy food options and having a couple of alcohol-free days will prevent unnecessary weight gain and fatigue.
3. Schedule your return trip a couple of days ahead to acclimatize
When planning your vacation, you might feel like you want to use every minute of your time. But since getting back into your normal routine can be quite stressful, it helps to give yourself a couple of days before returning to work or school.
4. Practicing gratitude: actively enjoy the memories you made
Some people say: buy experiences, not souvenirs. Some people use their vacation to do things they usually don’t do. These experiences and the memories usually last longer than the average souvenir from the gift shop. You can print some of the photographs you have taken and hang them at home or at work, so that you get reminded from time to time.
5. Implement something from your vacation into your daily life
With these experiences, such as activities, sports, food or rituals, you have a chance to incorporate something from your vacation into your daily life. While on vacation, try to be mindful of the things you find pleasant and think of ways how to bring a bit of that pleasantness to your normal life.
6. Know what to expect when you return
For many people, part of the discomfort of returning to work is the stress that comes back after being away. Help yourself adjust to your work by scheduling ‘admin-time’ the first hours upon returning, so you can catch up on your e-mails. Another option is to call or e-mail a colleague before returning to work, so that you’re informed on the important developments at the office.