Your holiday was #summergoals and you’ve come back with a gorgeous tan, a new appreciation for rosé at sunset and a phone full of pictures. So why are you avoiding your normal routine, your friends and – more importantly – feeling like you’re more miserable now than before you left? Stacey investigates the real reason behind those post holiday blues…
That feeling is genuine, a byproduct of “post-holiday depression,” and this struggle actually IS real, according to Lee Thompson, a travel expert and co-founder of Flash Pack (a holiday company specialising in connecting solo travellers).
“We see this a lot amongst our customers, and think much of it can be attributed to work stress – as 65% say their return is extremely stressful. We put this down to the adrenaline comedown, the withdrawal of which leaves you feeling under the weather and plainly speaking, a bit rubbish.”
But there’s a solution, promises Corinne Sweet, a UK-based therapist, who gave DOSE her top tips for getting back in gear after your holiday:
Beat jet lag
“Jet Lag is a chronobiological disruption to our body’s natural rhythms, caused by a change in time-zones. This hinders sleep patterns, which in turn drives feelings of anxiety, depression and unrest,” Sweet says. And it’s such an important issue that British Airways worked with the UK’s leading sleep expert, Dr. Chris Idzikowski, to create a British Airways jet-lag calculator to help you get back into the groove more quickly when traveling.
Light up your life
One of the best ways to get a positive outlook on life is actually to increase the amount of natural daylight you’re exposed to (tough when you’re grafting in an office under fluorescent bulbs, granted, so get out and walk at lunch or even walk to and from work). “When you consider that sunlight has been proven to impact mental wellbeing, it stands to reason that spending as much time as possible outside, and/or buying an artificial light will help the cause,” Sweet adds.
Sync with your #squad
“Being on holiday makes us more sociable, which in turn boosts positivity. Sadly, this changes on our return, and it’s a fact of life that our social circles narrow as we get older,” Sweet notes. So if your post-holiday nights are becoming focused on Netflix and Deliveroo, snap out of it and make plans to reconnect. Even better – try something new as a squad, helping to recapture that holiday energy and joie de vivre.
Work it out
The only thing harder than hitting the gym after a week lying by a pool or on a sandy beach is probably waking up on a Monday morning, but prioritise that sweat session, Sweet states. “Exercise has been proven to release feel-good brain chemicals that may ease depression (neurotransmitters, endorphins and endocannabinoids). Try even getting up a little earlier for a walk, it’s a far more positive way to start the day.”
Stay connected while on hols
“This isn’t for everyone, but for those that find themselves sneaking regular checks of their emails, or simply stressing about what’s going on back in the office, allowing yourself 30 minutes max of access to work per day can alleviate the stress felt by 72% of Brits when they go on holidays,” Sweet says. “If you keep tabs on your life, new opportunities and vital deadlines, by checking in briefly every day you are away, you can smooth your re-entry back into work, which lowers your anxiety and makes coming home less of a jolt.”
Set new goals
“Channel your post-holiday emotions into a quest for change, by filling the void with new objectives to look forward to,” Sweet suggests. To chart this out, Sweet suggests setting a long-term objective, then creating smaller goals and milestones for each to keep you on track. (A reward for meeting your new goal is entirely up to you, of course – but might help you stick to the plan).
And if all else fails? Start booking your next holiday, stat – turns out that summertime is statistically the cheapest time to score another holiday!
Check out travel options on DOSE or visit Flash Pack for holiday inspirations
Hettie is the editor and co-founder of DOSE. A keen runner, she’s also partial to a blast of high-intensity and hot yoga. A country girl at heart, she divides her time between London and the lush rolling hills of North Devon. When she’s not jetting off on her next adventure, Hettie can be found in a candle-lit alcove with a laptop, a spaniel and a full bodied Malbec.