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5 Ways to Beat the Post-Travel Blues

because going home after a great vacation is HARD.

By Lindsey DonatPublished about a year ago 3 min read
5 Ways to Beat the Post-Travel Blues
Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

You've had your noggin chock-full of dopamine and serotonin and all kinds of feel-good chemicals for days on end because you were on vacation.

You didn't have to deal with micro-managing bosses, forced daily small talk, sometimes even basic household chores, like doing the dishes, for several days.

Then you returned home to the "same ol' same ol" and felt that same 'ol feeling that you always do when reality is confronting you, pressing its forehead against yours. Mine tend to show up as anxiety and despair. These feelings leave me demotivated to continue on with a productive day, which I will inevitably feel guilty about in the coming days.

So to ease the transition between traveling/vacations and falling back into the routine of daily life, here are some suggestions that have historically worked for me:

1. Unpack right away

This tip works in several ways. One, if I see suitcases laying around with bathing suits in them and it's below freezing outside, of course I'm going to be depressed. Two, the suitcases and other travel items lying around will contribute to clutter. The clutter gets added to the never-ending to-do list, which causes further anxiety. It's better to think of unpacking as the last step of the vacation timeline. Treat it as important as making it to your assigned gate at the airport terminal on time.

2. Clean any part of the house that wasn't already cleaned before you left

Cleaning can be an opportunity to practice mindfulness and being present. It keeps your brain from continuously convincing you to immediately book another vacation for just a little dopamine hit. Cleaning can help you notice and appreciate what is in your current environment instead of dwelling on the amazing adventure you just had and longing for it back. Don't get me wrong, it can feel good to reminisce, but not if you fall into the trap of comparison.

3. Have a nice dinner

Depending on the vacation you just had, you might have been eating fancy dinners at 5-star restaurants every night. Or maybe you went to a lot of bars and got McDonald's at 1am. Whatever the case may be, replicate that on your first night back. It can trick your brain into feeling like you're still on vacation while at home, therefore making home a more desirable place to be.

4. Go back to work the very next day

Sometimes it can feel good to take a recovery day, particularly if you had consecutive traveling days. And if you arrive home at 11pm, I absolutely endorse this. But if you can arrive home in the morning or afternoon, plan to go back to work the following day. If you take a day off, you may be more likely to procrastinate. Newton's First Law of Motion! You're in motion, so stay that way. If you rest, you will have a much harder time getting yourself back in motion.

5. Stay off social media for a few days

Again, comparison is the thief of joy, whether it's between you 2 days ago and you now, or you and others you know. You'll get that dopamine hit when someone likes or comments on your sunset picture, but once that wears off, you will probably feel worse than before you opened that social media app. After a few days the emotional high and low contrast won't be so stark. Then flaunt your stuff, baby.

Do you do any of these things after you travel? Do you think any of these suggestions wouldn't help in your case? How do you deal with post-travel blues?

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About the Creator

Lindsey Donat

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