"A vacation used to be a luxury, but in today’s world it has become a necessity!” unknown Have you ever returned from a vacation with a severe dose of the blues?
Post-holiday stress can leave you feeling dissatisfied and restless, a flat feeling, sleeplessness and a vague longing to make changes in your life. But…before you pack up the house and relocate to Paris consider the merits of your everyday life. The deflation you feel is a completely natural reaction to a much anticipated and well planned holiday.
Travel has always been an indulgent escape from the monotony of our run-of-the-mill routine, if you were unhappy before you left, there is a good chance you’ll be unhappy when you return. It’s in our nature to feel unhinged after a vacation full of freedom, new experiences, relaxation and excitement. Be practical, if you can swing, it don’t return to work immediately, give yourself time to unpack, throw out the dead plants, answer your emails, and pay your bills before you do anything impulsive. If after a couple of days de-cluttering you still feel depressed, use the inspiration from your holiday to make small changes in your life.
The good habits you picked up while on holiday can be easily woven into your daily routine. Eat healthier meals; remember all the fruit you ate for breakfast in Greece with all that good Greek yoghurt; an easy adjustment to make. Re-decorate, maybe paint a wall the color of a Tuscan sunset, but be careful not to get too carried away, I had a friend who turned her traditional suburban home into a shrine to a Balinese Villa, worse still she still had her tatty cornrows long after her Kuta tan had faded.
It doesn’t hurt to distract yourself with something new when you return, yoga, cooking classes, pottery or gardening. When we’re on holiday, we are much more active, open to new endeavors, things we would never have attempted at home. We spend so much more time outdoors, in the sun, walking, playing on the beach, skiing, trekking, or boating. When you return home try and maintain that level of activity, even if it’s just getting out for a walk each morning or perhaps renewing your membership at the local gym.
Many years ago my partner and I returned from an extended European vacation, apart from being very jet-lagged we returned entirely different people. We had discovered a new way of life, food, culture and connections that changed the way we thought and looked at the world around us. Neither of us could fit back into our old way of life, this vacation had been an epiphany for us both. Far from being depressed, once we recovered our equilibrium, we packed up our belongings said farewell to family and friends and headed to the coast and a completely new reality. Our vacation had not only been a life changing event it had also given us the inspiration we needed to move forward.
Many travelers eventually slip back into their old routine in a matter of days, but there are those amongst us who use their experiences to start over. A longtime friend, who had just emerged from a messy divorce, and who was rather conservative by nature, took a sudden and impulsive trip to India. While there, she discovered the merits of meditation, yoga and the age old healing principles of Ayurveda. A year after she returned she established her own spa, using the Ayurveda herbal techniques of healing and massage, she came back from India with a completely different outlook on life, which in turn turned out to be a very lucrative one.
Not everyone can act so rashly so try and maintain the good vibes in a more modest way, try cooking a favorite meal , that delicious spaghetti vongole you ate in a little side street in Venice, or how about your favorite cocktail you had every night on the beach at sunset, even just playing some music from your chosen destination, you will eventually get sick of the gamelan and wind chimes. If all else fails close your eyes and visualize a special holiday moment, while planning your next big escape.
“No man needs a vacation so much as the person who has just had one.” Elbert Hubbard
How about you, how do you deal with post holiday blahs?