Now that most COVID restrictions have been lifted, lots of people are finally getting to take those vacations they’ve been planning for so long. Even a quick getaway can help ease stress, unless you’re hit with flight cancellations or have to deal with general travel chaos. But even if your getaway goes perfectly as planned, you still have to face reality when you return home and that can leave you with a case of the post-vacation blues.
Nobody wants to have to deal with that and according to CNN these tips from experts can help you avoid it:
Plan a buffer for when you come back – Overloading yourself with a long to-do list of tasks to tackle as soon as you return home can make that contrast between vacation and reality feel more severe. So, if possible, try to give yourself a buffer day to transition before going back to work and try to minimize household chores. Psychologist Dr. Andrea Bonior says that way you “can exhale and have some time to just be able to readjust.”
Try to maintain a vacation mindset – “Remember that ending the vacation doesn’t mean ending the fun,” explains Dr. Laurie Santos, Professor of Psychology at Yale. She suggests finding ways to get more of that travel feeling in everyday life by doing things that make you feel good when you’re in your “vacation mentality,” like walking through a new neighborhood or trying a new restaurant.
Practice gratitude – Take some time to reflect on your positive travel memories by journaling or making an album of photos from your trip. In addition to being thankful for what you had, try to bring that gratitude to your daily life as well to help you appreciate all the good in it.
Exercise – You may not feel like getting back into the swing of your workout routine, but lots of studies have shown that moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise can help ease anxiety and depression. According to one recent study, adults who did activities equivalent to 1.25 hours of brisk walking a week had an 18% lower risk of depression than those who didn’t exercise.
Acknowledge your feelings – “Research shows that for us to be able to just articulate that we have a certain emotion makes that emotion feel less scary, so we feel more in control,” Bonior explains. So talking about how you feel, either with others or in a journal, can help you feel better and hopefully shake off those post-vacation blues.