You just got back from an amazing and exhilarating trip, and you can’t stop obsessing about all the cool things you did. Your mind is stuck and keeps recalling when you rafted in Thailand’s exotic islands, made it to the end of China’s Great Wall, and took a selfie there. And when you camped in the mountains of Norway, witnessed the serene and chromatic Northern Lights, visited the rich historical places in Turkey, and hiked in the Alps of Switzerland. Now you’re wondering how to stop drooling over the beautiful places that have taken over your mind since you returned home. This particular stage is known as “post-vacation depression,” and we are all familiar with how awful this emotion is and how it can influence and disrupt our daily routine.
The common belief that post-holiday blues are inevitable and helpless to combat is widespread. The good part is that we may learn to control these negative emotions and adopt more hopeful perspectives by practicing healthy coping mechanisms. Firstly, it’s mandatory to be familiar with the signs of post-vacation depression so that you can identify when you can benefit from coping strategies.
Irrespective of how distressing this can be, there are several strategies for overcoming post-vacation depression that is discussed below.
1. Make a new travel or activity plan: Looking forward to something can lift your spirits and give you a sense of direction.
2. Start exercising: It has been demonstrated that physical activity offers a number of advantages for mental health, including a reduction in depressive symptoms.
3. Interact with your friends and family members: Talking to people about your thoughts and emotions might give you a sense of support and solace, making you feel less lonely.
4. Resuming your routine: Having a regular daily schedule can give you a feeling of stability and make you feel more secure.
5. Practice mindfulness meditation: Knowing your thoughts and feelings at the moment might help you deal with unpleasant emotions more effectively.
6. Consult a mental health professional: If your post-vacation depression is severe or persistent, it may be beneficial to do so.
7. Engaging in pleasurable activities: Pursuing things that make you happy and content can help you feel better mentally and physically.
What is Post-vacation depression?
This low point in one’s mood, which can also be referred to as post-vacation syndrome, stress, or depression, might come on strong after a period during which one is subjected to intense feelings and stress. The post-holiday blues are characterized by symptoms that are also present in anxiety and mood disorders. These symptoms include restlessness, poor stamina, irritability, trouble focusing, and restlessness. On the other hand, the suffering is just temporary, in contrast to the persistent nature of clinical depression. The feeling of being depressed during the holiday season isn’t all that rare, even though it receives much more attention than it would otherwise.
Returning to “real life” after a rejuvenating vacation can be met with a mixture of dread and anxiety, as most of us can attest to having felt at one time or another. It’s typical to feel down, unmotivated, or apprehensive about going back to work, school, or regular duties after returning from a vacation or break from them. The term “vacation blues” refers to the sadness or emptiness that can occur after a trip. Extreme change is challenging for many of us, and instead of focusing on the good times in the past or present, we tend to worry about the bad times to come.
Causes of Post-vacation depression?
A sense of melancholy, loneliness or lack of enthusiasm that can happen after returning from a vacation or trip is referred to as post-vacation depression, also known as post-vacation blues or post-travel depression. Post-vacation depression may have several causes, including:
- Reality hit: The shift from a carefree, relaxed state to the demands of daily life can be startling, resulting in disappointment and melancholy.
- Alienation: Going on vacation and spending time with family or making new friends can be fun, but returning to a more solitary life might make you feel lonely and isolated.
- Absence of structure: While the regularity and structure of daily life can give one a sense of direction and purpose, the absence of structure during vacations can be confusing and make one feel aimless when one comes home.
- Financial pressure: The costs of a vacation, such as lodging and mementos, might cause tension and leave you feeling guilty or remorseful when you get home.
- Changes in the surroundings: Getting used to a new temperature, culture, or environment can be challenging, and coming home can make you homesick or nostalgic.
It is critical to understand that post-vacation depression is a common and typical experience, and there are strategies for managing these emotions. A few examples include:
- Keeping in touch with loved ones.
- Upholding a routine and sense of structure.
- Establishing reasonable expectations.
- Figuring out how to enjoy yourself.
Symptoms of Post-vacation depression?
The phrase “post-vacation syndrome” or “post-vacation depression” is occasionally used to describe the emotional and physiological issues that may arise after a traveler returns home. These symptoms may be caused by the stress of returning to work and home routines and the disorganization and lack of relaxation that often come with vacations.
Following are some of the most typical signs of post-vacation depression:
- Grief: Those suffering from post-vacation depression may feel depressed, sad, or emotional. They could struggle to be motivated or interested in what they usually find enjoyable.
- Absence of energy: They may struggle to get out of bed in the morning or feel exhausted and drained. They may have trouble getting asleep, sleeping through the night, or maintaining sleep, or their sleep habits may vary.
- Changes in food intake: They may eat more or less or develop cravings for particular foods.
- Concentration issues: They can have problems concentrating on or paying attention to the current tasks.
- Feeling isolated: They may feel cut off from their friends, family, or place of employment, or they may feel less productive than before the vacation.
- Physical symptoms: They might feel physically ill, with various possible complaints, including headaches, stomach-aches, and aching muscles.
- Mood swings: Upon returning home following a trip, some people report feeling angry, worried, or depressed. They may also experience feelings of sadness or desolation as they return to their regular schedule.
It’s imperative to remember that feeling sad after a vacation is a normal reaction, so if you’ve had any of these signs after coming back from a trip, you don’t need to worry. It is frequently transient and is manageable by taking part in things that make your life enjoyable and meaningful, keeping in touch with loved ones and friends, getting lots of sleep, and practicing meditation. Talking to a mental health professional can help if your symptoms keep bothering you or are interfering with your regular activities.
Methods for Keeping Workers Upbeat during Post-vacation depression
Similarly, employees who are already occupied in a dead-end job and stuck in a stressful job may find post-vacation syndrome or depression more overwhelming and triggering.
But not to worry, the following points will help you overcome post-vacation depression in no time.
- Prepare in advance: prioritizing your chores and managing your workload will help you prepare to return to work before you go on vacation. This can make you feel more in charge and less overwhelmed when you return.
- Stay in touch: Try to maintain contact with your co-workers and colleagues while you are away. This can make moving back to work less abrupt and make you feel more involved and connected when you return.
- Getting back to your old routine: Rather than resuming your full workload immediately, gradually get back into your regular schedule. As a result, when you return to work, you will feel better rested and more energized.
- Participating in festive activities: Upon returning from a vacation, it can be beneficial to participate in lively and meaningful activities. This can improve your mindset and lessen depressive or empty feelings.
- Get lots of rest: After returning from vacation, make sure you get lots of relaxation. You may feel more revived and rejuvenated as a result, and you may be better able to handle the rigors of daily life and work.
- Seek assistance: If you are having trouble returning to your routine after a vacation or are dealing with chronic sadness, it may be beneficial to speak with a mental health professional for additional support.
After any seasonal vacation, such as Christmas and Thanksgiving, or a trip to local or foreign places, it is quite natural to experience post-vacation depression. But there are ways to cope, such as by determining what is causing you tension and anxiety first. If you can identify the factors that contribute to your seasonal depression, you can begin to take preventative measures or a treatment involving clinical therapies.