Beat the post-holiday blues

Siski Green / 05 July 2016

Sun, sea, sand... then back home again. Find out how to prevent a post-holiday mood slump.



Make the last few days of your holiday really count

One study found that the most important days of your holidays are the first few and the last. If those are good – ie they give you what you’re looking for, be it relaxation, exploration or living the high life - then you’ll finish feeling like you’ve had a worthwhile time. So try to make sure the last days of your holiday are the best by planning activities accordingly. 

Holiday activities to try at home

Plan the next trip

A good way to help shift your focus is to start planning another trip. It needn’t be an all-singing-and-dancing trip to some tropical land, it could simply be a weekend away within the UK or a last-minute hotel booking in your own town! 

“Stepping out of your normal routine within the first few weeks of being back home will help maintain that holiday feeling,” says David Waters, psychotherapist and faculty at The School of Life (www.theschooloflife.com) “It needn’t be expensive either, you can visit relatives or friends, or even enjoy a day outing via bus – the important thing is that it breaks your routine and is something pleasant.”

Why a weekend away can make all the difference

Realise it’s normal

It can be disheartening to come home and realise that life is just the same as before. But that’s what a holiday is - a temporary break from routine. It’s perfectly natural to feel a bit disappointed when the good times don’t continue at home. “If it’s really getting to you, though, perhaps it’s time to dream a little – explore opportunities for working or retiring abroad, for example,” says Waters. “Even if for now it’s just daydreaming, it might help you get through this readjustment-to-reality period after your holiday.”

Four tips for choosing where to retire abroad

Get some sleep

Nothing kills the good feelings of a holiday like jet lag. One minute you’re feeling healthy, sun-kissed and energised, the next you’re feeling grey and done-in.

Give yourself a break. Jet lag is usually worse when travelling long distances from west to east, so if you’ve had a holiday in the Caribbean or the US, for example, you might suffer even more. When you arrive in the UK it might be time for bed, but your body won’t feel ready for sleep. But rather than forcing yourself to sleep, relax instead. Read a book, take a bath and allow your body to unwind. If you find you’re still tired the next day, take a short nap – but keep it short at 45 minutes or less. That way, you’ll still be tired when it comes to your normal bedtime later. 

More tips on how to beat jet lag

Get fitter

One of the nice things about holidays is that we feel physically well, even despite eating delicious meals and often drinking too. That’s a result of the holiday effect – sunshine, fresh air and sleeping well.

So make your return to reality the beginning of a new exercise regime. Regular exercise will boost your endorphin levels and if you’re getting exposure to sunlight, it’ll help with any jet lag too. And as you start to see the good chances in your physique, it’ll boost your confidence too, making life at home feel better than ever!

Find information and inspiration in our exercise and fitness section

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