After two weeks away I'm back, with a blog all about how to beat those pesky post-holiday blues. Take a look below the line to see where I've been and how you can manage that feeling of "ugh" when you get back from a break!
I've recently been on a trip to Europe (Lisbon to be exact - lovely city, amazing pastries, STEEP hills!) and, whilst it was nice to be away and embrace a different culture for a few days, the post-holiday blues hit me like a truck when I came back. You know what I mean, feeling low and sad when you get back from a holiday, or even a little anxious about getting back to work? Often, "post-holiday blues" is reserved for the time after Christmas (or Thanksgiving and Christmas if you're American), but I think it applies to a break in your routine at any time of year.
It can be challenging to get back into the swing of things, especially when you're feeling down and unmotivated. However, there are some effective ways to beat the post-holiday blues and return to your regular routine with renewed energy and enthusiasm.
Plan Something to Look Forward to
One way to beat the post-holiday blues is to plan something to look forward to. Whether it's a weekend getaway or a night out with friends, having something on your calendar can help you feel more motivated and excited about the future. But don't pack your schedule too full after you get back, otherwise you'll roll straight out of "holiday mode" and straight into "treadmill mode," and after about a week you'll wonder if you ever had a holiday at all!
Get Back into a Routine
One of the best ways to beat the post-holiday blues is to establish a routine again. This can help you feel more grounded and in control of your life. Start by setting a regular sleep schedule (because post-holiday jet lag is no joke!), eating healthy meals, and scheduling in some exercise. Again, don't change everything overnight, but feeling a little bit more in control really does help with some of the mood changes that can occur when you get back from a vacation.
Reach Out to Friends and Family
Connecting with loved ones can help you feel less isolated and more supported. Make an effort to reach out to friends and family members, even if it's just to chat for a few minutes - I'm sure they'll want to see your holiday photos (maybe not all 300 of them on a slide show, but a few pictures of sunny skies doesn't hurt!)
Take some time to reflect
Part of the post-holiday blues can be because we've found something whilst away from the world of work and home which we've been missing. That could be something that connects you with your values, or something that excites you about life (speaking a different language, or cooking different foods, for example). If you feel like this, then spend some time thinking about what you gained from your holiday, and what you'd like to try to keep hold of as you transition back into "normal life" - you probably can't sit around a pool all day drinking margaritas, but you can learn how to make a really good margarita yourself for Friday nights, and take up swimming as a hobby! Knowing why those things stuck with you will help to decide where and how you want to focus your efforts.
In conclusion, beating the post-holiday blues requires intentional effort and self-care. By planning ahead, establishing a routine, connecting with loved ones, reflecting on your goals and taking care of yourself, you can overcome these feelings of sadness and anxiety and return to life feeling like you've had a good break.
Have you got any other tips for managing the post-holiday blues? Let me know in the comments!
Dr Sarah Blackshaw: Clinical Psychologist, blogger, tea drinker, interested in dinosaurs and shiny objects