After a mini-vacation or a multi-year round-the-world trip, someone may experience a variety of depressive symptoms for 3 days to 2 weeks. This condition is known as post-vacation depression.
Travel may transform you, which is a major factor in post-vacation sadness. Travel gives us endless freedom.
You’ll feel different once you’ve seen the world for yourself. Our journey time is a liberating experience where we learn to control our schedules.
People might experience relief at getting home safely, but they might also experience grief at the thought of their lives returning to normal.
It can seem pretty depressing when you switch from waking up to a new adventure every day to waking up in your bed and home, where everything is exactly as you left it.
“It’s a weird thing about coming home”, as the adage goes, “everything is the same in terms of appearance, odor, and sensation. You’ll see that it’s only you who has changed.”
But there are various ways through which one can overcome these symptoms. In this article, we will be talking about post-vacation depression and how to overcome it and lead a normal life again.
What Is Post-Vacation Depression?
When your trip comes to an end and you dread going back to the routine you originally sought a vacation from, it is post-travel depression.
After an intensely enjoyable vacation, post-vacation depression, also known as post-vacation syndrome, can strike hard.
It may take longer to recover from the post-travel blues and get rid of its symptoms the longer you are away from home and the more accustomed you have become to traveling.
Symptoms Of Post Vacation Depression
Numerous common symptoms of anxiety or mood disorder are present in post-vacation depression. They may include,
After a vacation, you may feel sad and emptiness within you because your life returning to normal again.
Lack Of Focus
You may have difficulty concentrating on your regular household work or in your office because you will be busy most of the time missing the fun you had on your trip.
Desire To Be Alone
You may want to be alone most of the time after a vacation because you are already feeling depressed.
You may feel agitated and irritated most of the time because adjusting to your regular life will be difficult for you post-vacation.
You may feel very less inclined to eat due to being depressed which will lead you to lose weight.
You may have no desire to sleep as you will be contemplating your wonderful vacation with your regular day-to-day life and be more depressed.
As you won’t be eating well and sleeping well you may feel very less energetic. Moreover, your depression will make you feel like you have no energy at all.
How Long Does Post-Vacation Depression Last?
Contrary to clinical depression, post-vacation distress is temporary. After your return, this depressive phase may last for two weeks and sometimes even several months.
Additionally, after a trip, jet lag can cause several sleepless nights, and it can take up to two nights to get back on a regular sleep schedule.
How To Overcome Post-Vacation Depression
Document Your Vacation
Even though we have digital storage for all of our memories, documenting and printing your vacation photos can help you avoid the post-vacation blues.
Visualizing printed images to those on your phone’s display is far more satisfying. Additionally, pick a few of your favorite pictures to hang in your home or place of business.
This allows you to constantly browse through the pictures and think back on your favorite travel memories.
Disclose Vacation Stories
You can tell your travel tales to others over dinner or to your coworkers at the office.
Share your fondest memories with those around you, whether they are members of your family who went on your vacation with you or your best friend who eagerly awaits your updates.
Create Memory Journal
Make a journal where you can record your thoughts and experiences from the trip that you enjoyed most. Share them as frequently as you can with your best buddies or even your family.
Even when you’re traveling, you can make notes in a diary. While you are unhappy back at home, you can elaborate on those points in the journal which can cheer you up.
The months after a significant trip can be difficult, but keeping a memory journal can help you get out of it.
Get Plenty Of Rest
Traveling can be exhausting and unpredictable. Consider taking a few days off from your regular schedule so you can rest well and complete any tasks you need to before going back to work.
Additionally, it can be difficult to be productive when you do not feel rested. Therefore, set up a relaxing environment to get sufficient sleep of 8-10 hours daily for 2-3 days before resuming work again.
While exercising does not guarantee you won’t experience post-vacation depression, it may help you reduce it.
Exercise that ranges from moderate to vigorous intensity can help you fight post-vacation depression. Exercise’s psychological and physical advantages can enhance your mood.
Exercising for at least 30 minutes each day for a few days can greatly reduce the signs of your depression. However, shorter bursts of exercise, as little as 10 to 15 minutes at a time, might also have an impact.
Keep in mind that exercise does not have to be strenuous, even a short walk can improve your physical and mental health, and help you combat post-vacation depression.
What To Do If Post-Vacation Depression Persists?
Be aware that going to a therapist can be helpful if you are experiencing severe depression and finding it difficult to get back into your routine after a trip.
Speak with a mental health professional if your emotions of despair or hopelessness become so intense that they are affecting your relationships with others or your ability to work.
The change in routine that a vacation brings can set off persistent feelings of sadness, irritability, or anxiety, but you do not have to live with these emotions.
In addition to seeking professional assistance, you can benefit from local services to help you get through a trying emotional period.
Although it’s not a recognized clinical illness, post-vacation depression is a common emotional occurrence. Post-vacation syndrome is a brief period of readjustment that can result in symptoms including depression, exhaustion, and sleepiness, among others.
Following a trip, it’s crucial to quickly adjust, settle in, and embrace daily routine. Remind yourself that you are exactly where you need to be by bringing yourself into the present.
Accept your home base and stay grounded—at least until your next vacation. Additionally, seek help from a mental health expert if your depression is not going away.
Remember, seeking help is far better than digging yourself into bed and being depressed over a vacation that you enjoyed the most.
Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed research, academic, and medical institution studies.
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Alisha Matthew has been a practicing nutritionist since 2016. She holds a master’s degree in nutrition from the University of IOWA. She is a staunch believer in improving the human health index by educating people about nutrition and the importance of nutrition in leading a healthy and happy life. Her long-term goal is to keep educating people on general health and keep herself updated with the latest trends in the field of health.