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7 Tips to Overcome Post Vacation Depression

Amanda Page Jul 13th, 2012 (updated Dec 7th, 2016)
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Maybe you wait all year to take that big summer vacation, but before you know it that blissful time has come and gone in a blink of yummy meals, guilt free shopping, and site seeing. Afterwards you are suddenly thrown back into your familiar surroundings and routine and you can’t help but feel blue. While there is no way to eliminate post-vacation depression or post travel depression (PTD), there are some ways to help ease the transition back to normal life.

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Plan ahead for a day at home
Plan ahead for a day at home

If possible, plan ahead to have an extra day or more to spend at home relaxing before heading back to work.  There is nothing worse than the shock of getting off the plane and going straight to the office.  Having a day at home allows time to unpack, handle bills, recover from jet lag, and reflect on the great time you had.  

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Exercise
Exercise

Is there anything that exercise can’t nurture?  Getting your body back into a healthy mode of function and burning off those extra vacation calories can help boost your mood and get you feeling better. The changes in routine, diet, and perhaps time zones can leave you feeling physically and emotionally exhausted after traveling, and getting your body moving can be the first step in restoring your mood.  

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Meditate
Meditate

Sit in a quiet space, close your eyes, and envision your favorite location from your trip.  Really focus on remembering the sounds, smells, and how you felt there.  Meditating and directing your attention towards positive thoughts will help reduce the pain of the trip coming to an end.

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Ease back into routine
Ease back into routine

Don’t jump right into your typical daily routine, switch things up a bit.  For example, instead of grabbing your usual cup of coffee and going to your usual gym class, try a new coffee shop or exercise outdoors instead.  The change of pace in our usual environment will trick your brain into thinking you are still on a sort of vacation.  Eventually you can ease back to your usual habits, but you may discover new habits to complement your routine.  

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Share your memories
Share your memories

Once you are back at work, share your photos and stories with friends, relatives, or co-workers.  Orally reliving your vacation experiences will be surprisingly fun and prolong the fun of being there.  Starting a scrapbook is a good way to relive the good times while doing something new and fun at the same time.  

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Bring the vacation destination to you
Bring the vacation destination to you

Often times trips expose us to new cultures which is a primary reason we feel compelled to travel.  This is also a reason why it’s such a shock to the system to return to normal after returning home.  Finding ways to interject the newly experienced culture into your normal routine will help.  For instance watch a film set where you traveled, take a language course, or cook a meal similar to what you enjoyed on vacation.  

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Plan your next vacation
Plan your next vacation

The ominous feeling of having no vacation in sight can be very depressing.  Start planning your next trip by starting a vacation fund or portfolio of travel destination ideas.  Having something to look forward to and to research can boost your mood and encourage positive thoughts about the future.