How to cope with the post-holiday blues
Written by: Julia Hammond
Post holiday blues
You know the situation. You’re just back from the holiday of a lifetime and instead of feeling great, there’s a great big black cloud right above your head that you just can’t shift. All you can see ahead of you is work and routine, and they aren’t helping to lift that stifling depression. So what can you do? Here are a few tips to help you beat those post-holiday blues.
Make sure you have a full schedule
One of the most tried and tested ways of coping with that post-holiday downer is to keep busy. You might think you’d be better off relaxing and catching up with your sleep. In fact, keeping your mind and body active is a way of preventing your thoughts from straying back to that holiday paradise. Arrange to see your friends. You can share your holiday stories with them but be sure to make time for their news too else you risk becoming a holiday bore. Schedule in some of your favourite things – go to the spa and get a massage, perhaps, or visit the cinema to catch up with all those films you missed while you were away.
Get some exercise
Exercise not only fills your schedule, it releases chemicals known as endorphins which trigger a positive reaction from your body. In short, they make you feel happy, so exercise is the perfect way to get over your holiday. Not only does it ease the depression, it also helps you shift those extra pounds that you put on whilst indulging in all that delicious holiday food. For some people, as little as ten minutes’ vigorous exercise can do the trick. Others might have to keep at it a little longer. But even if all you do is take a walk in the fresh air, it will help lighten your mood and make you feel better.
Treat yourself to some chocolate
If you can’t face the idea of exercise, all is not lost. Three different chemical ingredients found in chocolate will also help improve your mood. Firstly, an amino acid known as tryptophan is found in small quantities. It’s used by your brain to make serotonin and that’s good news – it’s a neurotransmitter, a messenger if you like, and it produces feelings of happiness. That’s not all. Chocolate also contains phenylethylalanine, which when combined with the dopamine which occurs naturally in your brain, mimics the euphoria you feel when you fall in love. The third element of this magic trio is theobromine, a weak stimulant which works in conjunction with caffeine to give you a mild high.
Create some tangible holiday memories
Now’s a good time to sift through those holiday snaps and select the best ones. Cull those that are out of focus or repeats and choose your favourites. Load them onto a digital photo frame or create a photo book. It’s easy to assemble a photo book online and great fun to write the captions that go alongside your pictures. Alternatively, why not put together your own personalised scrapbook. Alongside your precious photographs, you can stick bus tickets, receipts from the museums and tourist attractions you visited and even some of your leftover currency. Add a few travel tales, dates and place names. This will be a book you’ll treasure in years to come.
Treat your weekends like a staycation
While you’re saving up for your next trip, take a fresh look at your local area and at the weekends, behave as though you’re on holiday. Seek out a walking tour in your nearest city and you’ll be surprised at how much you’ll learn from a knowledgeable guide, no matter how long you’ve lived in the area. Take a walk and explore the surrounding countryside. Just by getting out of the car, you’ll notice more; your concentration can be solely focused on the sights, smells and sounds around you rather than on the road. Seek out a new restaurant and try food that you’ve never eaten before. Find out if there are any multicultural events planned and go along. You’ll be amazed at how much of the world you can “visit” within a few miles of your home.
Start planning your next holiday!
If all else fails, there’s only one thing for it – start planning your next holiday. Read our blogs, browse our itineraries and buy a guide book or two. Who knows where you’ll end up next?