Beat The Post-Vacation Blues

I just got back from a wonderful vacation. My family rented a big house near the beach for a family reunion. It was wonderful being able to spend time with family that I don’t often see, and to see my kids enjoy time and making memories with their cousins. The ocean, the family, the sense of calm and relaxation that comes when you put your life on pause, it all went too fast.

Yesterday was my first day back, and I will say that I was more than a little blue. I know we’ve all had it, those post vacation blues where before you can even unpack your suitcase, the real world comes rushing at you like a 400lb linebacker. Between having to say goodbye to the vacation, and looking ahead to all that needs to be done, it’s no wonder that the first day back feels so heavy.

As we slowly regain our momentum and transition back into the real world, here are some tips and suggestions to help beat those post-vacation blues:

  1. Slow down- part of the vacation mindset is being in the moment. We’re not worried about an upcoming deadline, or yearning for some past memory, we are thoroughly enjoying whatever space we are in— soaking up the sun, touring some historic place, or just spending time with family and friends. Bring some of that awareness to your everyday by centering yourself in the present. Meditation or a mantra like, “be here now” is a great way to change up your mindset, or simply look around and think about what you are grateful for right now in this moment.

  2. Treat yourself- another glass of wine? Second helping of dessert? A nap in the middle of the day? Hey, I’m on vacation! Let yourself indulge a little and make room for pleasure in the midst of the regular grind. Do something that makes you feel happy, relaxed, or pampered.

  3.  Reflect- Take some time to think about and write down memories from your trip. Physically writing things down is a great way to make the memories more concrete, both because you have a physical record of them, but also because our brains will store the information better. You will get to relive a little bit of the fun and magic of the vacation, and also have a great keepsake to look back on to preserve those memories.
  1. Stay in contact- If you took a trip with friends or family, make an effort to stay connected on a regular basis. Meet someone interesting on the trip? Write them a letter or give them a call! Your shared connection will help keep the spirit of the trip alive, and may even blossom into a long term friendship.

  2. Cherish your keepsakes- Print out your pictures, put a souvenir on your desk, whatever it is, keep a physical reminder of your trip in a place you will see it often, or perhaps in a spot where a reminder of happy times could enhance your experience there. (I’m thinking about printing a picture from vacation and hanging it in the laundry room!)
  3. Get adventurous- Bring some of the spirit of adventure to home by exploring places you have never been to, trying a new restaurant or exploring some of the local culture. Turn off the tv and take a stroll around the neighborhood. Discover a new park where you can read a book or go for a bike ride. Go to a nearby museum or attend a concert. No matter where you are, there are always new things to discover. Be a tourist in your own town and regain some of that open adventuring you had on vacation. You may even learn something or find a new appreciation for where you live by seeing it through different eyes. 

Be grateful that you are able to take a vacation. Be proud of yourself for having given yourself that time and experienced something new. Cherish your memories, and if nothing else works, you can always start planning your next vacation!

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photo credit: via photopin (license)

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