You have just had the holiday of a lifetime, sipping pina coladas at a relaxing beach resort and breathing in some of the freshest air while hiking through the most amazing scenery. You feel well-rested and absolutely fabulous. The fact is, going on vacation has been scientifically proven to be good for both our mental and physical health. Embarking on this holiday trip has probably lowered your blood pressure and reduced your stress levels; it has no doubt improved the quality of your sleep as well.
Unfortunately, all of these positive effects you have gained can begin to evaporate before your plane even hits the tarmac back home. Even as you are boarding the plane, reality strikes and you are reminded of all the daily stresses of home, family and work. Experts will tell you that the post-vacation doldrums is not imagined, but a real experience that is typically characterised by an imminent sense of gloominess and anxiety.
If you are not careful, all the good vibes that you picked up from your break can quickly dissipate and put you right back at square one. Luckily, there are several steps you can take to help stretch out your vacation bliss so that you may continue to enjoy all the health benefits gained from your delightful getaway.
Plan Your Next Trip
Don’t wait another minute — start thinking about where you want to go for your next holiday. Simply planning and anticipating your next vacation can elevate your mood and take you out of the post-holiday malaise. And the best part is, your next trip does not have to be massive or extravagant or long because even planning for an easy and relaxing staycation can produce the same positive feelings as planning for a fancy and exotic vacation at a far-off destination. Just having a trip to look forward to is really the main point.
Maintain an Active Lifestyle
If you get regular exercise during and after your trip, it can go a long way towards keeping you in tip-top shape, both emotionally and physically. Sleep patterns can be easily disrupted when you travel (hello, jet lag!), which can really do a number on your mental state. Regular exercise can promote better sleep quality while you are on vacation and keep you in good spirits. Furthermore, it will help to prevent weight gain from all the delectable foods that you will no doubt indulge in during your vacation, which will cut out any angst from trying to fit into your work pants upon your return!
When you get back, think about heading outdoors for your exercise instead of going to the gym. Not only will you be releasing feel-good endorphins from all that cardio, the exposure to sunlight will give you vitamin D as well as boost your serotonin levels, all of which will help contribute to raising your happiness level. Of course, make sure to slap on some sunscreen!
Make A Memorable Meal from Your Holiday
According to psychologists, the smell, feel and taste of food can trigger fond memories not just of the meal itself but also of the place where you enjoyed it. So recreate some of your awesome holiday memories by preparing the spaghetti aglio olio that you devoured in Rome or by mimicking the exact recipe for a bibimbap you positively inhaled on your trip to South Korea. Then let the warm feelings from your recent trip flow over you!
Ease Back Into Reality
One can argue that planning your return home is just as important as planning for the trip itself. For instance, taking the red-eye back and going into the office a couple of hours after you have touched down is not the ideal way to end an otherwise restful holiday. One effective way to hold onto all the joy and benefits of your holiday trip is to reserve one more vacation day for when you arrive back home. Because no matter how great the trip you have just been on was, travelling is a tiring affair. This one extra day will allow you to recover, do the laundry, stock up on necessities, and just simply take a moment to reflect on all the awesome stuff you did on your vacation before you have to head back to the daily grind.
Let’s be honest—if you are experiencing the doldrums from having such an amazing vacation, then you are one of the lucky ones. After all, not everyone has the luxury of time or money to take a vacation. If you can feel grateful for being able to go on vacation at all, it will most definitely take the sting out of having to come back from one. Allow yourself to be present and to enjoy every minute of the travel experience and return to your routine feeling lucky to have had the opportunity to experience it. It is one surefire way of extending your vacation bliss and beating the post-holiday blues.