The glow of vacation can fade as fast as a French tan in winter. Feeling stressed, bored, or even trapped by the doldrums of daily life is easy to understand when you’re fresh off waking up to new adventures every day. Post-vacation depression is a real thing, especially if you’ve traveled for more than a week or two. While you might not be able to avoid the post-vacation blues altogether, you might find you can overcome vacation depression with some of our pro tips:
Take a Chance on New Experiences
At the end of the day, traveling is an experience within itself. Bragging rights are real, and this simple rule gives you all the permission you need to tell your neighbor down the street about exploring the Pyramids of Giza or riding on the back of a camel. Take a chance and experience something new, you’ll remember your adventure stories long after your trip is over.
Buy Culturally-Relevant Souvenirs
We’re all for supporting local cultures and artisans. You can help make your purchases count if you stick to local and authentic treasures to bring home. Because you know the story behind a piece, you’re more likely to have a connection to it. Plus, when someone asks about a certain tapestry, vase, or ornament, you can share the tale of its origin and making and your connection to the workshop and artists.
Find Creative Ways to Document Your Travels
When on vacation, we all want to take as many pictures as possible. One of the reasons photos are the best way to capture your vacation is because you get to flex your creative muscles capturing your own view of the icons. Plus, with social media nowadays, everyone expects to see your vacation photos posted on your feeds. If it’s been a while since you’ve picked up a camera, don’t know how to use Instagram, or have no idea how to use your phone’s camera don’t fret. With a little refresher and some expert advice, you’ll brush up fast.
Once home, you can have your photos processed and create a scrapbook. Or, you can upload them to a photo book site and have a book made for you! The best part is that you can write recaps or special notes next to each photo so loved ones who read it can feel like they were there, too.
If you like, we suggest keeping a journal with you during your trip as well. It’s easy to forget the events of a past day as the trip goes on, but keeping a diary of your days will allow you to process feelings in the moment as well as provide you with a way to reflect once you return home.
Creativity does wonders for the mind, so scribble a few notes or stories from your day before you retire each night. This way, you don’t have to recall the whole trip at once but can refer to the fun memories you felt were important to jot down. Stick in a few tickets stubs or a lunch receipt from a great restaurant. Press some flowers or leaves. Write inside-antidotes only you and your fellow travelers are privies to. No matter how you keep notes, it’s wonderful to open a book and have those tactile memories.
You can also pen a newsletter that recaps your getaway and email or mail it to friends and family members. Don’t forget to include your new friends, too! There’s no better way to share in the memories than by keeping in touch via phone or email with the travel buddies you made during your travels.
Bring Your Trip Home with You
While you can’t bring the well-known chef you met home with you from Lima, you can get creative. You were probably introduced to new ingredients and styles of cooking while you were traveling. Maybe you had a class with a chef in Italy or amazing Paella in Spain. One of our favorite things to do is to find traditional recipes from the areas we traveled and attempt to make them ourselves. Recreating dishes you savored on your journey invites that culture into your own home. Plus, you can charm friends and loved ones with a meal; introducing them to new flavors and ingredients along with stories from your travels. Once you have a dish down, you can add your own spin to it and make it a family favorite!
Plan Ahead for Your Return
In the days leading up to your trip, it’s a good idea to set up your personal space for your return. Clean your home, do laundry, and take care of any food that might spoil in the fridge. This way, all you’ll worry about when you return is unpacking, which is a task in and of itself. It’s also smart to organize a to-do list for when you get back, so you don’t feel overwhelmed when the tasks of daily life add up.
Researchers at Syracuse University actually found a direct link between vacation and lowering the risk for metabolic syndromes. That includes high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and obesity.
A vacation can do wonders for your mental and physical health. Not only does it help lower the risk of metabolic syndromes, but it also can also help to improve your concentration, help you sleep deeper, and allow you to be more in tune with your thoughts and emotions.
Chances are that while you were on your trip, you were more active than you realized. Traveling allows you the opportunity to exercise more, especially when you’re busy getting in steps trekking around sacred sites and natural landscapes. So, when you return home, keep your sneakers laced up and keep your activity level up.
Get Back into Your Routine
A great way to tackle post-vacation melancholy is by getting back into your routine at home as quick as you can. Reunite with hobbies, pick up where you left off on tasks, and start to settle back in. It’s always helpful to schedule lunches with friends and share memories from your trip.
Plan Your Next Vacation
Anticipating your next adventure is a solid remedy for post-vacation blues. Vacations have a reputation for being over too fast. It’s a lot easier to cope with this swiftness when you have something to look forward to.
Planning ahead for your next trip can free up your mind so you can decompress while feeling like your next adventure is an on-the-horizon reality. According to the Harvard Business Review, “If you plan ahead, create social connections on the trip…and feel safe, 94% of vacations have a good return on investment in terms of your energy and outlook.” If you want help planning your next adventure, seek out the industry’s best experts to arrange a guided tour or river cruise.
There’s no perfect remedy for curing the post-vacation blues. Just be sure to manage them one day at a time, focusing on the things in your life that make you happy. And, if all else fails, start planning your next vacation!