Beating the post holiday blues

You’ve just returned from your beach holiday. Maybe it was the trip of a lifetime. Maybe it was a weekend getaway.
Whether you’ve unpacked your suitcases or not, you may be dealing with another kind of luggage: A persistent feeling of sadness since the moment you opened your front door.

Post-holiday blues are real. But if you pay attention to what’s causing them, you could recover from the blues — and maybe reinvent your life in the process.

Overall, vacations are good for your mental health. Giving ourselves the opportunity to explore the world around us can rejuvenate our sense of wonder, and more importantly, help us to be more present-minded.

The happiness you feel on holiday usually doesn’t last. When your holiday is over, people return to baseline levels of happiness within a few days. If the happiness evaporates once you resume your daily life, is vacationing a waste of time and money?

If you have a feeling the blues when you get home, it might be wise to take a few proactive steps before your vacation begins.

Before you leave home, tidy up

There are few things more dispiriting than walking into a mess. In the run up to your holiday, it can be easy to think, “I’ll deal with that when I get back.” If you can manage it, putting fresh sheets on your bed, clean towels in your bathroom, and maybe a new book on your nightstand will make your return feel more like “Welcome home.”

Plan transition days

If you can make it work with your budget and schedule, give yourself a day or two to adjust before you have to return to work. You’ll have time then to grocery shop, unpack, get kids ready for school, do laundry, and take care of anything unexpected that came up while you were away.

Put something inexpensive and fun on your calendar

Before your trip, plan an event to look forward to when you return, like a movie, lunch with friends, or a round of golf. It doesn’t have to be an expensive event, considering many budgets are tight after holiday splurges. This planned event doesn’t have to be right away. The week after your holiday can fill up with backlogged work and household to-do’s. A month in the future might be ideal. It will remind you that the fun hasn’t ended just because your holiday has.

Pack a travel journal

Memories fade — even the vivid ones. If you spend a few minutes every day during your holiday writing down your adventures and misadventures, you’ll have a record you can revisit for years to come. Add what you were thinking about and what moved you; chronicle the heart-stopping moments. It’s your holiday and your journal.

Plan plenty of downtime

While it’s tempting to cram adventure and activity into every moment — especially if you’re shelling out hard-earned money for your holiday— your sense of well-being may last longer if you plan a restful one.

Connect with friends and family

If your holiday has left you yearning for more meaning in your life, reach out to the people who matter to you. Consider reconnecting with old friends and family members to share a meal or a conversation. You may begin to feel your world re-centering. Connection is an integral part of our lives, and holidays are often a time of deep connection with those we are visiting or traveling with. Maintaining a sense of connection afterward is important.


We tend to indulge over the holidays: wine, rich foods, decadent desserts and that oh so big Christmas lunch. A gentle dietary “detox” might help you feel better physically and mentally.

Write reviews

While your experiences are fresh in your mind, write reviews in online travel services, leaving tips and cautions that might improve someone else’s holiday. Not only will writing solidify your memories, your advice could boost a local business or prevent someone from making the same mistakes you did.

Bring the outdoors in

Many of the health benefits of nature reach us through our senses. People experience therapeutic benefits from seeing, hearing, smelling, and even tasting natural elements. Opening a window to listen to birds or smell cut grass, planting a small herb garden on the back porch and even using essential oils might lift your spirits and make home feel more inviting.

Plan your next holiday

Planning your next holiday or weekend getaway, gives you something to really look forward to, that will quickly curb your post-holiday blues