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You recently got back from a weekend trip. It might have been a once-in-a-lifetime. Regardless of whether you’ve opened your suitcase, you can be dealing with different kinds of emotional luggage: a constant sadness that has been present ever since you first opened your front door. The post vacation depression exists.

When you return from a vacation, it is common to feel a letdown. This is especially true if your trip was everything you hoped for and more. After all, how can real life compare to the perfect vacation? You may find yourself missing the excitement and adventure of being in a new place. Suddenly, your routine feels monotonous and boring. You may even feel depressed.


This is normal and there are ways to cope with post vacation depression. If you pay attention to what’s triggering them, you may be able to overcome your blues and perhaps even start afresh.

What is post vacation depression?

After an enjoyable vacation of doing something that genuinely feeds our souls, we have all likely felt the dread that comes with returning to “real life.” It can be a nice escape from your daily routine to go on vacation or take a break from work, so it’s normal to feel depressed, unmotivated, or anxious when you return to work, school, or your regular duties.

This is often referred to as post vacation depression or the “vacation blues.” The extreme transition can be challenging for many of us, and we frequently find ourselves caught in future angst rather than looking back on pleasant memories or appreciating the present.

A lot of individuals think that the blues after the holidays are inevitable or normal. The good news is that we can control these sensations and shift our perspective to one that is more upbeat by using some healthy coping mechanisms. It’s crucial to first understand the signs of post vacation depression so you can detect when such coping mechanisms are required.

What Causes Post-Holiday Blues?

There are several factors that can lead to post vacation depression, according to Depression Open Talks.

The good impacts of holidays may help elevate mood, lessen mental strain, and boost life satisfaction. But, they may vanish within the first week of returning to regular life, according to studies. When people arrive back home, they could feel under pressure to start their daily routines and return to work right away, which could result in an increase in mental stress.

One potential remedy for job-related stress is vacation. Researchers assessed psychological changes that took place before, during, and after a vacation in a 2020 study including 60 staff.

Negative feelings, stress, and hostility were unchanged before the holiday but considerably decreased afterward. Researchers discovered that some advantages were limited to those with low levels of workplace stress. Some individuals’ pre- and post vacation work stress seemed to persist, which would reduce the benefits of the holiday.

The need to transition between vacation and daily life is mentioned in some hypotheses of post-holiday depression. Some persons might require reintegration into their daily lives and society after traveling abroad. In addition to that, sunburn, insect bites, excessive food and alcohol intake, illnesses, and other unfavorable travel-related side effects are also possible.

How to prevent post vacation depression

It could be a good idea to take a few preventative measures before your vacation if you have a feeling that the blues will be waiting in your mailbox when you get home.

Clean up your house before you depart

It’s simple to say to yourself, “I’ll take care of that when I come back,” in the days leading up to a vacation. If you can, make your return feel more like a “welcome home” instead of a depression room. For example, you can place new sheets on your bed, clean towels in your bathroom, and perhaps a new book on your nightstand.

Schedule transitional days

Give yourself a day or two to acclimate before you have to go back to work if your budget and schedule permit. Then, you’ll have time to go grocery shopping, unpack, do laundry, and handle any unforeseen issues that arose while you were away.

Add a cheap and enjoyable event to your calendar

Plan an activity you may look forward to after your trips, such as a movie, lunch with friends, or a round of golf. Given that many people’s finances are constrained following indulgent vacation spending, it doesn’t have to be a costly occasion.

This anticipated event need not take place immediately. The week following a trip can become very busy with unfinished business and household chores. Consider making your plans for a month. It will serve as a reminder that just because the trip is over, the fun hasn’t.

Carry a trip diary

Even vivid memories are subject to fading. If you take a few minutes each day of your trip to document your successes and failures, you’ll have a record you can refer to in the future. Keep a journal of the terrifying moments and record your thoughts and driving forces. It’s your getaway and your diary.

Schedule a little downtime

Researchers evaluated Dutch holidaymakers’ enjoyment before and after their trip in a 2010 study. They discovered that vacationers who had a “very relaxing holiday” were the only group whose happiness persisted higher weeks after the trip had ended.

Even though it’s tempting to pack every minute with excitement and activity—especially if you’re spending hard-earned money on your vacation—planning a restful one may help your happiness linger longer.

How To Get Over Post Vacation Depression

Putting a little more attention on the fundamentals of physical and mental well-being and modifying expectations are necessary for getting oneself out of a post-holiday funk:

Take care of yourself

Experts prescribe a nutrient-rich diet, frequent exercise, and quality sleep as the cornerstones of a healthy lifestyle to improve mood and treat symptoms of depression. These habits frequently disappear throughout the Christmas season due to late-night parties, sweet treats, and lengthy to-do lists.

If you’re experiencing emotional difficulty, re-establishing them as a regular and inflexible part of your routine is crucial to getting back on track.

Make time for enjoyment

The importance of social connection in improving well-being cannot be overstated. It could feel a little melancholy to have an empty calendar now that the holiday festivities have subsided. Adding enjoyable things to your calendar will offer you something to look forward to and prevent contrast effects.

When you’re depressed, withdrawing is simple to do. Even when you don’t feel like it, reaching out to and spending time in person with friends and other people you care about might give you a much-needed lift.

Keep calm and easy on yourself

The blues following the holidays won’t last forever. Be patient with yourself in the meanwhile. Take the time necessary to regain your balance, and don’t be hard on yourself if you feel the way you do. If your symptoms do not go away, think about seeing a professional.

🔖 Related Blog: SAINT depression treatment – stride in medicine

Post vacation depression: Conclusion

After a trip, some people could have post vacation depression. When they return to their regular obligations and routine, they might experience sadness, a poor mood, or more stress. Planning pleasurable activities when you go back and documenting your trip to preserve memories, along with giving yourself a few days to adjust before going back to work, may be helpful.

People who are stressed out at work may wish to take precautions or discuss stress management strategies with their employers. People may want to seek help from a mental health specialist or their healthcare provider if depressive symptoms persist.


Home. (n.d.). YouTube. Retrieved November 18, 2022, from https://www.talkspace.com/mental-health/conditions/articles/deal-with-post-vacation-depression/

Jelinek, J., & Crumpler, C. (2022, October 10). Post-vacation depression: Is it real? Prevention, how to cope. Medical News Today. Retrieved November 18, 2022, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/post-vacation-depression

White, M. A., & Legg, T. J. (2020, August 19). Post-Vacation Depression: About, Prevention, Overcoming. Healthline. Retrieved November 18, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/health/post-vacation-blues

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