Keep the post-holiday blues at bay

Clinical Director of Wellbeing and Health Promotion
26 July 2018

Usually, the purpose of a holiday is to relax and unwind, have a much-needed break from work or regroup as a family. Therefore, it’s often expected that you’ll come home feeling refreshed, upbeat and energised. But it’s not just your tan that can fade following a holiday. Many people experience post-holiday blues when it’s time to head home and return to the commitments of daily life.

But don’t let the glumness get to you. Here, I’ll give my top five tips to avoiding the blues and extending that holiday glow.

A woman waiting for her plane in an airport

Plan things to look forward to

Many people start planning their next holiday as soon as one ends. But holding on to the thought of your next trip isn’t the best way to deal with post-holiday blues.

Try to plan some enjoyable things to do in the weeks following your holiday. Maybe a trip to the cinema, dinner with a good friend, or challenge yourself to try a new sport or exercise class. Making mini plans week-to-week can help you to look forward and adds enjoyment to a ‘normal’ working week.

Recreate your favourite meal

A big part of a holiday is enjoying local, fresh cuisine, or perhaps trying foods you don’t usually eat at home. But enjoying your favourite dishes doesn’t have to end when your holiday does. Draw inspiration from the places you visited and continue the cuisine in your own kitchen. Greek salads, seafood platters and antipasti dishes, for example, are all easy and healthy options you can recreate at home.

Get back into an exercise routine

Exercise isn’t just great for your physical health, but also your mental wellbeing. Beat the holiday blues by getting back into your exercise routine as soon as you’re home. It’ll boost your mood and help combat any sad feelings that might start creeping in following your trip. If exercise hasn’t been a regular feature in your life lately, view the end of your holiday as a ‘fresh start’ and begin a new exercise regime when you get home.

Take a break from social media

Social media is great for keeping up-to-date with friends and family. But sometimes, seeing other people’s photos of their holiday when yours is over won’t help your mood. Take a break from social media, and make time to talk to friends and family face-to-face about your adventures – and also to hear about theirs. Making time for the people you love and investing in relationships is great for your wellbeing and creates a sense of belonging. This will help keep the post-holiday blues at bay.

Ease yourself back into real life

Be kind to yourself on your return. Tackling work emails or opening bills the second you walk in the door is sure to burst your holiday bubble.

This may not be possible, but if you can, plan to have one more day’s annual leave once you arrive home. This will allow you to ease yourself back into ‘real life’, and gives you time to reflect on your trip and the memories you’ve made. Heading straight to work after stepping off a 4am flight won’t do your mental or physical health any favours.

Above all, focus on the positives that your holiday has brought to you and your family. Look at photos you took and remember how you felt at that point in time. Savour the memories, recreate the foods and be kind to yourself on your return.




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Dr Jenny Leeser
Clinical Director of Wellbeing and Health Promotion

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