Going on holiday is probably the most anticipated event of the year for the most people. You treat yourself to some new clothes for the trip, make a list of all the essentials that you need to pack, and start counting the days you have left at work.
The time comes and you have an amazing time away with your family and friends, you have never felt more relaxed or happier. Home time comes and you’re sad to leave and wish you’d booked that extra week, though you’re secretly looking forward to your home comforts (your cup of tea doesn’t taste the same anywhere else).
But when you arrive home, reality hits and your mood crashes, taking away the happy, peaceful state you were in just hours ago. It hits you that in the morning you will be going back to your normal routine and you begin to pick apart all of the things that you don’t like about your life, comparing them to the paradise you have just come from.
Despite feeling rejuvenated after your break, you now feel exhausted by your fuller daily schedule. For many, this contrast can leave you feeling deflated, overwhelmed and makes it difficult to pick up where you left off.
Although grieving your holiday is a perfectly normal feeling, for many, especially those with mental health problems, it can be easy to fall into a downward spiral, letting things pile up and letting your mood get lower and lower. But there are small ways to make this easier and help yourself to get back on track…
Don’t let yourself continue to live out of a suitcase for the next week, stressing yourself out in the morning when you can’t find any underwear because it’s buried under a mound of dirty clothes. Get unpacked and organised. This will make it much easier to be productive instead of letting it build up into one big pile that will take longer to get through.
Its easy to get home and let yourself lounge around catching up on all of the episodes of Made in Chelsea that you’ve missed. Although allowing yourself some time to rest after travelling is okay, don’t let yourself over do it. The sooner you get back to your normal routine the easier it will be. Make a to do list and try to cross off at least two things on it each day. Being productive stops you from moping around and is a great mood-booster.
Rest when needed
Although its good to stay productive during the day, make sure you’re getting enough sleep at night, and allow yourself to get over any jet lag you may have. Coming back to your 9 to 5 after a week or two of laying on a sunbed is bound to make you a bit more tired than usual, so make sure that you’re getting a full nights rest to avoid burning out.
Don’t be so strict with the post-holiday diet
We’ve all been there, you come back from a week, or even a few days of indulgent meals, wine and ice-cream, try and put on your favourite jeans and are horrified when you can no longer even get them over your thighs. You swear you’re cutting out carbs and living on all liquid diet. But after a few days of soup three times a day, you cave, and are sat eagerly watching your Domino’s app, cursing the delivery driver who’s still ‘on route’.
Instead of getting into this vicious cycle, go easy on yourself. What you eat can have a massive impact on how you feel, and going from consuming lots on holiday to three carrots and a pea the next day is only going to leave you feeling tired, cranky and even more upset that you’re not on holiday anymore waiting for the waiter to bring over your next course.
Have something to look forward to
After counting down the days until you go away for weeks, or even months, once it’s over, it can leave you feeling unmotivated and without anything exciting to focus on. Try having something organised for a little while after you get back that you will really look forward to, whether it’s meeting with friends you haven’t seen for a while or going bowling or to the cinema. This way you won’t feel as pessimistic about your home life and will have something to take your mind off missing being on holiday.
Don’t isolate yourself
Most of the time on holidays, you are surrounded by other people and it’s a very sociable time. For those who are younger, live alone, or just aren’t as sociable in their day to day life, try not to go home and cling to your sofa and blanket too much (despite the fact that your still re-adjusting to your own country’s climate and scared you might catch hypothermia if you put it down). If you’re usually affected by post-holiday blues, isolating yourself will only make it worse, so push yourself to spend time with friends or family to prevent feeling lonely and reminiscent.