Post-holiday blues may not be a recognized affliction (yet), but it’s definitely something that many of us have experienced following a fantastic vacation. Travel is my passion and I try to do it as much as I can, which means I often experience pangs of the so-called “holiday hangover“. When we’re travelling, we fill up our days with enjoyable activities, whether we’re sightseeing, trying new restaurants, visiting museums, lounging on a beach or hiking through forests. When we return to our usual routine…. a lot of the fun stops. Interesting, relaxing and restorative activities are replaced with our daily business. Working. Doing housework. Running errands. Tasks which are necessary but don’t bring us much pleasure (I’m looking at you, weekly supermarket shop!). Our daily routines can feel so mundane and blah after our time away, where we were soaking up new experiences and enjoying a change of scene. The good news is these feelings don’t have to last until your next trip! In this post, I’d like to share some effective techniques I use to minimize post-holiday blues.
- Prioritize self-care. Travelling can be physically and mentally taxing so remember to take care of yourself. Get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Exercise. Eat healthy food. Take vitamins. Go for a swim. Read books. Have a massage. Get back into your morning and evening routines. As well as relieving post-travel blues, these activities can help with fatigue and physical aches and pains from travelling. Don’t distract yourself from your holiday hangover with alcohol, junk food and excessive amounts of sleep, no matter how tempting it may be. You can check out my self-care tips here.
- Give yourself a buffer. Plan a day or two at the end of your holiday. Use this time to prepare for the return to normality; unpack, wash your clothes, restock your fridge and sleep off your jetlag. You will feel a lot more human on your first day back at work/school if you’ve given yourself this preparation time.
- Have something to look forward to. It doesn’t have to be another holiday… although planning and researching your next trip is certainly an effective way to tackle the blues! However, it might not be a realistic option; most of us need to focus on saving money and getting our finances back in order before booking our next vacation. Even so, we can – and should – have some appointments on the calendar to look forward to. There are lots of fun, inexpensive things we can do to keep the pangs at bay. Spend time with friends and family, go for dinner or buy tickets for the theatre or a concert.
- Plan a day or weekend trip. Look for special offers on cheap train travel, or use a coach company like Megabus, National Express and Flixbus. You could go and see a friend who lives in another city, or choose somewhere close to home that you haven’t visited yet.
- Be a tourist in your home city. Many of us overlook the sightseeing opportunities in the cities we live in; we are so used to them and can ‘visit the sights anytime’. Well, now is the time. Go to museums, art galleries and other historic or cultural landmarks. Take photos. Be curious. Explore new neighbourhoods. Make a local bucket list of things you haven’t done yet – then start ticking them off! For example, I’ve done three walking tours in Hamburg (since moving here in 2017), which is such a great way to learn more about the city you’re in.
- Look at your holiday photos. You might think this will worsen the post-holiday blues, but it’s actually very comforting to relieve the memories. Why not print some of your favourite photos to display around the house?
- Share your snaps. Make a slideshow to show your amazing holiday photos to the people you live with. Upload your favourite snaps to Facebook and Instagram. I use Dropbox for online photo albums.
- Write about your experiences. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but your words are valuable too! Why not share your experiences on a blog or your social media accounts? I love looking back on previous trips I’ve written about on my blog… the memories always come flooding back from the descriptions and photos.
- Chat to like-minded people. Share your tips, anecdotes and photos with people on your wavelength. Talk to friends and family members who understand how important travel is to you and show genuine interest. Join online travel forums and communities like Girls Love Travel, Travelettes and Travel Community.
- Reminisce about past trips. Look at your old holiday photos, scrapbooks and travel journals to remember the fun and adventures you’ve had.
- Get crafty. Some of my friends love creating journals and scrapbooks, full of photos, postcards, tickets, brochures and anything else they’ve pick up on the way! It is a really creative way to preserve your precious travel memories.
- Bring back souvenirs. Along with gifts for friends and family, buy yourself a few bits and pieces to help remember your holiday. My boyfriend and I travel light so don’t bring back masses of mementos, but we get fridge magnets and postcards when we find ones we really like. We especially like to bring back food and drink that we can enjoy at home. During our most recent trip to Colombia, we bought three bags of coffee from different coffee farms, two Cafe de Colombia cups and saucers and an adorable avocado fridge magnet!
- Send yourself a postcard. This is such a cute idea that I can’t wait to try! Write and send yourself at least one postcard during your holiday, jotting down your favourite moments and describing what you did that day. The postcard might be there for you when you get back home… or may arrive weeks or months later, depending on how reliable the postal system is! Either way, it’ll serve as a lovely reminder and can be added to a scrapbook or displayed in your home.
- Get creative in the kitchen. Did you try some incredible dishes during your trip? Try to recreate the recipes at home! You might not be able to find the exact same ingredients, but you’ll have fun attempting to recreate some of the country’s culinary delights.
Do you have any more tips for tackling post-holiday blues? Please share them in the comments below!
Ciao for now
The Curious Sparrow