To Travel and explore is one of life’s greatest feelings and can transform your entire life. However, like all good things in this world, it must soon come to an end. Once the dream is over, this is when the dreaded Post Holiday Depression begins to take root. For those who have taken extended trips and felt that horrid feeling of suddenly crashing back to reality, they know this feeling oh too well.
However, for those who are just starting out or planning to travel in the future, this feeling is an unknown. What is post holiday depression and how can you beat it? What are the symptoms? How can you combat it? Here you will find all the answers to these questions.
Let us just state that when we say “travel” we do not mean holiday. Although coming home from a holiday does cause depression,coming home from a 6 month adventure of a lifetime is a whole different ball game. Returning home after a 15 day holiday in the Mediterranean is a completely different feeling to returning from a 2 year trip around India or Australia .
Nevertheless, the Post Holiday Blues does not discriminate and slays all in its path. The longer the trip, the more intense the Post-Travel Depression becomes.
Post Holiday Depression. What is it?
After spending seemingly endless days doing only pleasurable activities, no schedules, meetings or work of any kind, the routine of daily life is a slap in the face when your holidays are over: Boom!! Welcome to reality.
The day you arrive home, it will feel like only yesterday that you set off on your adventure. whether it was one, two or even three years ago. life has a way of flying by in a blink. Far away are those days when you had no obligations and responsibilities.
The nostalgic and sad feeling that you experience when you return to your hometown, is known as Post Holiday Depression. Some of the symptoms are as follows …
- mood swings
- inability to concentrate
At this time it is normal to feel drained and also experience low productivity levels. As I said before, there are many factors involved, including the length of the trip, the personality of the individual and also the atmosphere to which one is returning. However, there is no general rule with Post holiday depression, it strikes us all differently and also appears in many forms.
Sometimes, the seeds of depression are already planted in our minds before we travel. The sheer joys of traveling the world and living as a free spirit can give this darkness the power to bloom. The influx of reality on your return to normality is the perfect fertilizer for depression.
During your vacation you may think more clearly about things in your life that you are not happy with. You might begin to realize that it is time for a change.
One spark in the darkness for those that are strong enough to see is that the post holiday blues can be a time of reevaluation and the perfect opportunity to change your life’s path. In fact I know of many travelers who upon their return home have been transformed, such as the caterpillar to a butterfly and enhanced their lives ten-fold.
How to Deal With Travel Depression
The following are some tips on how to overcome the Post Holiday Depression:
Book another holiday or at least start planning (the best way)
To re-inflame the passions of travel is simple. Planning a new trip to some spectacular part of the world is almost as good a feeling as if you were on your adventure all over again. If money is a barrier from stopping your next trip, still plan. Think about the places you would love to go and write down notes, research about the countries and keep your mind focused on your next wonderful escape!
Change your daily routine, add new and challenging activities to your life
Make your days more enjoyable. Sign up for that dance class you always think about trying. Learn a new skill, whether it be cooking classes, photography or even archery classes. Challenge yourself, do more exercise, go to the gym, go for walk occupy your mind with so much that you combat any feelings of that encroaching darkness.
Catch up with friends and family
After a few days, weeks or months away from home, you will have a thousand stories to talk about. Share with your friends and family your newfound wanderlust induced spirit. Show them your stunning pictures and talk about all of the incredible places that you have been.
If you were away from home for an extended period, you will find that a lot of things have changed. Or maybe it’s only you that has changed? Take time to consider this.
Take care of yourself
Get lots of sleep. Eat properly and don’t fill yourself with junk food. Make plenty of exercise. Repeat.
Taking care of yourself definitely will reduce the symptoms of post holiday depression.
Change your mindset
Instead of feeling unhappy about the end of your holidays, try to remember the enjoyable moments of your trip. Think of all of the new experiences and lasting memories that you have built.
Cherish your holidays
Be grateful that you had the opportunity to travel. Express gratitude for the awesome adventure that you undertook. Thankfulness, is amazing powerful anti-depressing.
Also introduce some elements of your trip into your daily life, such as the souvenirs which you brought home. Place them on your desk at work or at home to inspire you when you feel glum.
Be a tourist within your own city
It is amazing how we can discover wonderful places that are just a few minutes from home. Research more about your own city and the places that you have never been. Visit them, take pictures and enjoy the experience as if you were back on your holidays.
Read your diary and flick through your photos
If you kept a diary, it is time to re-read and somehow live those precious holiday moments again. Share your photos on social media or print some of them, that way every day you can see your incredible adventures.
If you didn’t write about your trip, now is the moment to do it. It will help you to remember with happiness and delightfulness. Maybe this is even the opportunity to start a personal blog!
My Personal Experience After a Long Travel
Knowing different countries, cultures, languages and people is something that I love to both experience and enjoy. Plus the absolute best thing about travel, meeting amazing people which become lifelong friends.
I have always had very good feelings after my trips. Even though, sometimes I have looked back with nostalgia. The moments I enjoyed far from home are some of the best of my life. In these cases, my wanderlust spirit lead me to look for other destinations and to start planning future trips.
The time when I went for my first long solo trip. I decided to spend almost one and a half year on the other side of the world. I can’t deny that it was one of the best experiences of my life, but the return home was… Blue, to say the least.
I experienced the joy of seeing family and friends again. Then I felt sadness because I realized that everything had changed: some friends became “weird”, members of the family had moved and I did not have my own place anymore. Additionally, the inevitable comparison between my adventures and my own country … I was thrown directly into post holiday depression.
What I did to overcome these feelings was I accepted it. I allowed myself to be a bit low because this was a big change and I gave myself time to adapt to my new reality. Then I tried to remember the amazing moments while abroad and wrote about them. Finally, I cleared my mind, thought about myself and broke some habits that didn’t make me happy anymore.
And last, but not least…I realized that the things at home did not change, the one who had changed was me 😉
Even though the post holiday depression can catch you unawares at anytime, I would say: do it. Because it is so worth it!. The valuable knowledge you learn will last forever. the old cliche that travel broadens the mind is as true today as it ever was.
Travel opens your mindset, allowing you to change, to grow, to learn, to experiment. The lessons you learn while traveling is an invaluable knowledge. Remember: To Travel is To Live.
After all, if you feel that your wanderlust spirit is hungry for more, perhaps it is time to step up to the plate. If money is the only thing which is stopping you, think again. There are endless possibilities to earn money while traveling, become a full time traveler and earn money while you travel!