I don’t need a holiday to recover from my holiday – said no one ever.
A friend of mine just returned from a one-week holiday in Spain. Excitedly I called her up to ask how it went, how it felt to be back.
“The flight was delayed, my baggage is still stuck in Barcelona and it’s taken me 24 hours to work through my inbox. How do you think it feels?” she replied.
Silly question, really. Crash-landing into a bad case of post-holiday blues, my friend (like most of us) needs a holiday to recover from a holiday! I’m sure you know the feeling? One minute you’re sipping a glass of wine by the sea without a care in the world, the next, you’ve dived deep into the gloom of your fluorescent cubicle, bulging inbox and an inflated credit card bill.
Post-traumatic-stress-disorder has a little known but oft-experienced cousin known as post-travel-stress-disorder. It’s not a clinical disorder but a real phenomenon shared and experienced by all travel lovers.
Post Travel Blues = Exaggerated Case of ‘Sunday-itis’
Sufferers feel irritable, flat, have low motivation, poor concentration, feel helpless and hopeless. The longer your holiday, the more the gloom. People who are trapped financially feel the most pain.
According to a study published in the Applied Research In Quality Of Life, journal, people gain a bigger happiness boost during the eight weeks prior to their holiday than from the holiday itself.
And it’s not just at work that the blues happen.
Relationship experts say that post-holiday is the peak time for break-ups. Of course, it could simply be that the strain of spending two weeks watching your partner posing in a pair of speedos has finally pushed you to a breaking point. Or simply, the sheer awfulness of getting back to reality after experiencing a glimpse of heaven, makes the cracks appear.
5 Effective Ways to Beat the Post-Vacation Syndrome
Here are five simple ways to shake that dull feeling that something is amiss:
It might seem arduous, but if you procrastinate unpacking for too long, the tripping and the hurdling over your rucksack will just add more gloom and doom to your days. Once you put everything away you will become instantly calmer and more in control.
2) Organize your photos
Instead of mourning the loss of your vacation, relive those scenic vistas by making an album and uploading on social media. The FB ‘likes’and ‘comments’ are a sure shot way to boost your mood.
3) Pamper Yourself
I know you feel too low to take care of yourself and would do anything to stay glued to your futon till eternity, but working out will make you feel alive. So douse your hair in your favourite deep conditioner, do some yoga, a quick exfoliation in the shower and voila! You’ll feel positive and energised.
4) Don’t Call in Sick to Work
The first thing I do after returning from a big, fancy holiday is to check my savings, look up the Provident Fund and calculate the chances of giving up work and walking out. I spend the first day fantasising raising chickens in Goa alongside a quaint bistro, until gradually I get sucked into work and realise that I’d probably be allergic to the feathers anyway.
Getting back into routines is the hardest part of finishing a holiday. Calling in sick the first day will only make it worse. So cry all you want to, feel upset, then dust yourself off and carry on with the drudgery… till the next escapade.
5) Plan the Next One
After the initial hugs are hugged out, the anecdotes told and the reunions over, coming home might not feel like really coming home at all. If being surrounded by the unknown is your flavour, then a shorter trip closer to home might just do the trick.
Travel doesn’t always have to be a long haul plane flight to another time zone. Your wanderlust and your bank account will both feel elated with shorter trips nearby. You could even act all tourist-y in your own city. You probably know your city well, but there might be a lot of adventures waiting-to-be-had in your own town!
And if you truly feel the road is where you belong, then focus more on your work. After all, it’s the job that will pay for another opportunity to get away, gaze on the horizon, look and dream on.