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Post-Vacation Depression: Symptoms, Overcome Techniques, And More


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.

all about post vacation depression

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[1] 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,

  • Feeling Anxious

    After a vacation, you may feel sad and emptiness within you because your life returning[2] 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[3] 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[4] you are already feeling depressed.

  • Irritability

    You may feel agitated and irritated most of the time because adjusting to your regular life will be difficult[5] for you post-vacation.

  • Weight Loss

    You may feel very less inclined[6] to eat due to being depressed which will lead you to lose weight.

  • Insomnia

    You may have no desire to sleep as you will be contemplating[7] your wonderful vacation with your regular day-to-day life and be more depressed.

  • Low Energy

    As you won’t be eating well and sleeping well you may feel very less energetic[8]. 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[9] 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.

  • Exercise

    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[10] 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[11] 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.

  1. Depression. Date Of Review: September 2022. Available from: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression
  2. Mental Health Conditions: Depression and Anxiety. Date Of Review: September 14, 2022. Available from:https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/diseases/depression-anxiety.html
  3. Arielle S. Keller, John E. Leikauf, Bailey Holt-Gosselin, et. al. Paying attention to attention in depression. Paying attention to attention in depression. Transl Psychiatry. 2019; 9: 279. Published online 2019 Nov 7. doi: 10.1038/s41398-019-0616-1
  4. Raheel Mushtaq, Sheikh Shoib, Tabindah Shah, et. al. Relationship Between Loneliness, Psychiatric Disorders and Physical Health ? A Review on the Psychological Aspects of Loneliness. J Clin Diagn Res. 2014 Sep; 8(9): WE01–WE04. Published online 2014 Sep 20. doi: 10.7860/JCDR/2014/10077.4828
  5. Maurizio Fava, Irving Hwang, A. John Rush, et. al. The Importance of Irritability as a Symptom of Major Depressive Disorder: Results from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Mol Psychiatry. 2010 Aug; 15(8): 856–867. Published online 2009 Mar 10. doi: 10.1038/mp.2009.20
  6. Anthony N. Fabricatore, Thomas A. Wadden, Allison J. Higginbotham, et. al. Intentional Weight Loss and Changes in Symptoms of Depression: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Int J Obes (Lond). 2011 Nov; 35(11): 1363–1376. Published online 2011 Feb 22. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2011.2
  7. David Nutt, Sue Wilson, and Louise Paterson. Sleep disorders as core symptoms of depression. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2008 Sep; 10(3): 329–336. doi: 10.31887/DCNS.2008.10.3/dnutt
  8. Steven D. Targum and Maurizio Fava. Fatigue as a Residual Symptom of Depression. Innov Clin Neurosci. 2011 Oct; 8(10): 40–43. Published online 2011 Oct.
  9. ANNA-KATHARINE BREM, KATHY RAN, and ALVARO PASCUAL-LEONE. Learning and memory. Handb Clin Neurol. 2013; 116: 693–737. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-53497-2.00055-3
  10. Lynette L. Craft and Frank M. Perna. The Benefits of Exercise for the Clinically Depressed. Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry. 2004; 6(3): 104–111.
    doi: 10.4088/pcc.v06n0301
  11. Depression. Available from: https://www.who.int/health-topics/depression#tab=tab_1

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