Many people who return from their vacation find themselves experiencing post-vacation blues, also known as post-vacation or post-travel depression. This condition can cause an overall decrease in well-being and work productivity following a satisfying vacation. Having to get back into the routine of work, school, and daily life in general can be a source of distress, sadness, and discomfort. However unpleasant it may be, though, the post-vacation blues can be overcome with a little determination, some perspective, and a little self-care, that you can try. Following, are some suggestions from some of the studies that have been conducted on this subject.
Begin to adjust your sleep schedule ahead of time. Many travelers experience jet lag after traveling, especially if the trip crossed one or more time zones. Jet lag can affect your ability to sleep on a normal schedule, and that lack of sleep quality and/or quantity could contribute to feeling depressed that your vacation is over. Get yourself re-acclimated to your home time zone by getting up and going to bed several hours earlier or later for several days before you return.
Exercise while you're on vacation. Having a workout routine that you stick to while you're traveling can help keep you in shape and reduce stress and fatigue. If you continue that workout regimen after you return from your trip your body will have a sense of physical stability. Exercise also releases endorphins, which can help fight depression as well.
Return home to a clean and organized house. Have someone professionally clean your home after your departure so that you can look forward to coming home to a nice clean environment. Everyone loves to have that to look forward to!
Schedule your return trip with a few days to acclimate. The hardest thing to adjust to when coming back from a trip is returning to your normal work/school schedule. However, if you give yourself a day or two to acclimate back to your normal routine, you can make that transition much easier. If you plan on resuming work on a Monday, make sure you return home on Friday or Saturday at the latest.
Hold on to the experiences and memories you have. Focus on the positive. Try to see the enjoyable moments of your trip as part of a lifelong series of new experiences and lasting memories rather than mourning the inevitable return to your daily life. (I always like to take notes while on my trips and add them with pictures that I send off to have a book made from.)
Introduce elements of your trip into your daily life. While you may not be able to jet set across the globe every week, you can incorporate some of the things you enjoyed into your home life. If you really enjoyed the cuisine on your trip, make a point of learning to cook dishes from that culture at home. If you loved hearing and speaking a foreign language, commit to taking language or culture classes at a local community college.
Reassess your life. If you find yourself truly unhappy and unfulfilled when you're back at home, perhaps you're not just missing your vacation. Vacations are fun because they offer a break from the ho-hum and familiarity of life, but if you're miserable being at work or at home, you may want to consider making changes to feel happier. Doing this may help you see the good things in your life and eliminate the things that make you unhappy. Give yourself at least 3 days before committing to any huge life decisions. You may find your everyday life not so horrible after settling back into a routine.
Know what to expect when you return. For many people, part of the discomfort of returning to work is the stress that comes back after being away. However, one way to cut down on that stress when you return is to contact a coworker a day or two before you'll be returning to work. Your colleague can fill you in on any changes and let you know about anything you might have missed, which can make the transition back into your workplace a little less stressful than coming in blind to those issues.
Bring a vacation souvenir back to your workplace. Souvenirs can remind you of the fun time you had, and studies have shown that imagining being back in a fun, relaxing place is often enough to relieve stress and anxiety after returning from a big trip. (I enjoy buying jewelry and clothing from other countries that I can wear to remind me of my trips.)
Last and certainly not LEAST:
Begin planning your next vacation as soon as you get back. Having another vacation on the horizon, even if it won't be for quite a long time, can help you adjust to being back at work/school. Knowing that something just as fun is in your future will brighten up your day and give you something to look forward to.
The Classy Travel Blog is a great way to educate yourself; Not only with travel tips and tricks, but also with insight on all of the Classy Destinations around the world.