Post-vacation blues or post-travel depression is not an uncommon experience for many workers.
When incurring the 9am-5pm Monday to Friday grind, those weeks accumulated for time off and travel is incredibly important.
For mental and emotional relief and to enjoy the finer things in life, returning to the workplace following a period of time off can be a genuine letdown.
The good news is that individuals can adopt some sensible strategies that help to alleviate this problem before being consumed by these negative emotions.
Making Souvenirs of The Memories
Psychologists and specialists who study our emotional and mental behaviours appreciate the value of making souvenirs to combat the post holiday blues. It is the same pattern that makes us nostalgic for a different time, returning memories of fun and exciting adventures and reliving the stress of the workplace. This can be showcased with photographs and pictures placed on the desk or plastered on a desktop background.
Getting Back Into Good Sleep Routine
In many instances, the post-vacation blues are a response to a major shift in sleeping patterns. Rather than drinking wine and partying to all hours of the early morning before a 10-11am wakeup time, the stark adjustment to a 6.30 or 7.30am wakeup can hit hard. Begin this transition a few days ahead of time to ensure that the switch back to the work schedule is not so confronting, avoiding the late night drinking and staring to eat healthy again.
Dive Into a New Hobby
The holiday blues can strike at any time, but they can be avoided with the aid of a new hobby. From mountain climbing to joining a book club or if you are a smoker change the smoking habits from ordinary cigarettes and start enjoying a selection of vape flavours, there is a myriad of activities that can divert attention away from the return to work schedule. The next getaway period might not be for another 6-12 months, so it is important to have activities that can be enjoyed over the weekend and during scheduled breaks before that time is taken. It can help to foster a better team environment when colleagues are also involved in these activities, bridging the personal gap and establishing quality relationships between parties.
Put Work Challenges Into Perspective
Whilst a holiday is designed to relax, unwind and turn off from all of the hectic work stress that has been experienced, it is also useful to use some of this time placing those difficulties into context. Mentally speaking, when there has been no time for reflection on the work progress, the environment and the events of the past few months, it can only amplify the post-vacation blues. Take some time to reflect and put those issues into perspective.
Already Start Planning The Next Trip
Arguably the best strategy that can be employed to push back against the post holiday blues is to already have plans in place for the next getaway adventure. Having a trip overseas or interstate already locked into the calendar for 3, 6, 9 or 12 months away can be a real motivator and place the rest of the work routine into perspective. This is particularly useful for a brand new location, heading out to an unexplored land with new adventures and memories to enjoy.
If the work environment is so toxic and detrimental to mental and emotional health, then engaging with some post-vacation strategies can only go so far before an exit strategy has to be sought. For many others who do find joy and fulfillment in their position, these steps can help to minimise the damage and ensure that the mindset is in the right place. It is important to acknowledge that many colleagues will be in the same position and will understand the value of embracing post-vacation methods.