Beat the Holiday Blues! Learn How to Overcome Post-vacation Depression

How to Overcome Post-vacation Depression
Didn't want your vacation to end? Suffering from post-vacation blues? Share the memories of the vacation with your friends, and orally relive them. This will help overcome post-vacation blues faster.
PsycholoGenie Staff
Last Updated: Mar 21, 2018
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Quick Tip!
Plan ahead and take at least a day's leave before returning to work. It would help ease the transition.
'Vacation' is a word which is associated with absolute elation. It is like escaping into space, leaving behind the mundane blahs. The careful planning done weeks ahead of the actual departure keeps us in high spirits. The day arrives when we finally have to leave. During the vacation, we enjoy life like there's no tomorrow.

Eventually, the sad part comes where you have to return. Returning is still bearable, but the depression that hits after returning is the most dreadful. I can say that the magnitude of pre-vacation exhilaration is directly proportionate to post-vacation depression. The much sought-after break that was supposed to revive us, leaves us disoriented, stressed, nervous, and with strong feelings of nostalgia.

So, what do you do when the vacation has, emotionally, done more harm than good? You just need to have the determination to accept things as they are. I can understand that this is the most difficult part, but just contemplate on how each moment is different and equally important. PsycholoGenie recommends you to live in the moment and not in the past or future.
Be Prepared for the Post-vacation Depression
Workaholic on vacation worrying about work
Different people experience different types of post-vacation depression symptoms. While some find it easier to cope with the transition and easily go back to their routine, others just keep drifting back to their vacation memories, and have a hard time adjusting to the usual humdrum.
Your blues can be eased a little, if you prepare yourself in advance. If you do so, you won't be startled when it actually hits you. Plan ahead and keep at least a day free before you could rejoin work. In that day off, try to fill in the gap that was created when you were out, like stocking the empty refrigerator, doing the laundry, and cleaning the house.

Keep your mind occupied with household chores. This, my friend, has to be thought of before leaving. You can make a list of 'things-to-do-after-coming-back', and hang it to the magnet on the fridge. I can't assure you that this step would ease the blues, but it would definitely take your mind off it.

Your body will also thank you for the day off, because you will recover from traveling or jet lag, and if you have crossed many time zones, your sleep pattern that has gone haywire would return to normal.
Exercise Your Way Out of the Blues
Young people in gym
During the vacation, splurging on food goes on for days, and it results in piling of calories. Therefore, it is advised that you burn off those extra vacation calories by working out. If you are already a regular at the gym, great! Go back to working out as soon as you can. It will get the adrenalin pumping and feel-good endorphin flowing. A sure-shot way of overcoming post-vacation blues.
If you do not work out on a regular basis, start doing it. I don't mean to say that you should join a gym immediately, but you could start by walking or jogging. The main idea is to get your body moving, and that is why, in the previous section I had made a point that doing the chores can help restore some balance.
Share and Organize Your Memories
Discussing ideas
If you are already back to work, still feeling nostalgic, and are reading this, then follow this simple step. Start telling your colleagues about the trip. Believe me, it would help drive away the blues. Share photos and stories of your trip. Tell them about the marvelous show you attended while on vacation. Reliving your experiences orally, can prolong your sense of excitement.
Professional photographer
After you get back from work, start sorting out all your photographs and videos. If all your photographs and videos are on your camera, then select a few of them and get them printed. You can make an album out of your photographs, or a collage, and hang it up on your bedroom wall. It will remind you of the fun you had on your vacation.
Incorporate Change
In Your Way of Thinking
Confident man
Once you are back from the vacation, don't let the feeling as if the world has come to an end sink in. However difficult it might sound, only you can be the catalyst for change, and no one else can help you. I would advise you to leave the passenger seat and get into the driver's seat. The first change that I'm asking you to bring about is, in your way of thinking. When you return from your holiday, you should not come back exhausted, but with a tank full of energy, raring to go, a much more rejuvenated person than you were, when you left for the trip.
In Your Lifestyle
The second thing is a change in your lifestyle. You had packed only the minimum things required to go on a vacation. You didn't pack the entire house and carry it along... am I right? And with the minimum things you had in your kitty, you enjoyed your vacation. Carry on with that approach and start removing the clutter from your house. You will not only enjoy the free space you would create, but also get into the habit of saving a lot of money that you used to spend on buying unnecessary items.
Speaking of lifestyle change, I would also like to mention that, when you were on a vacation, you had hardly used your cell phone or the Internet, and even watched less TV. Continue doing so even after the vacation! Don't think it's possible? You did it for days together while on vacation! Learn from this experience, and stick to the habit.

While you were on vacation, you used your cell phone just to inform people that you are fine and enjoying your trip. As far as TV is concerned, I feel it should just be used at a bare minimum during vacations and even in our daily lives. It should only be a source of information, and not a means to fill up time. Adopting both these changes will not only fight the post-vacation blues, but will also help improve your quality of life.
Just a Tip!
It should not happen that you travel all the way, just to sit in a hotel room and watch TV. Seeing the larger picture should be your target. I'm shifting my focus, but would really like to say that, try to switch off or curtail the dependence on technology, and spend some quality time with your family. Eat the last meal while on vacation with your family, not with the TV. Do other fun things together, and not just relax alone in front of the TV or with your phone.
Start Planning a New Vacation
Businessman relaxing and dreaming
Depending on your budget and free time, start planning one more vacation. If you know that you have one more vacation to look forward to, you are surely going to beat the present post-vacation blues. You will feel as if they never existed. If you can handle one more vacation financially, there is no stopping you. Start looking out for details like transportation, lodging, and the cheapest airfare. If you cannot bear the expenses of a trip immediately, start saving for one. Even saving for a vacation can be a great way to beat the blues, because you will know that a new vacation is soon going to follow.

I would just say, don't be sad that it's over, but be happy that it happened. Enjoy the memories, learn from the experiences, and start saving for the next trip.