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Post Vacation Blues: Get Back to Work Without Feeling Depressed

There’s nothing like escaping the office and traveling to a new destination, even if it’s a short drive to a new city or a trip around the world. A vacation is typically the only time where you can enjoy a bike tour around the city or blissfully sit poolside with a Piña Colada. No emails, constant phone calls or the familiar “all-hell-has-broken-loose” moments to send your day into a tailspin.

Fast-forward to a week after leaving the office and being completely relaxed, you’re standing in the airport waiting for your luggage to come around the carousel. Flashbacks from your new adventures and the savory dishes from exquisite restaurants quickly bring a smile to your face. Moments later, you cringe after realizing that you have go into work tomorrow.

This is known as the “post vacation blues”. You had an epic vacation now it’s time to head back to reality. Emails, pointless meetings, and the responsibilities of everyday life.

Going back to work doesn’t mean that your life has to be boring. I’ll provide you with some ways to re-live those exciting moments from your vacation without setting foot on a plane.

Take a vacation from the vacation. Whenever I take a long trip, I need at least one day to get “back to normal.” For instance, last year I took a trip to Europe where I visited Stockholm, Copenhagen and Paris. This was a 7-day trip! I had an amazing time meeting new people and stopping at local bakeries to indulge in Danish, French and Swedish pastries. What I did not account for was leaving Paris and roaming through downtown Copenhagen at 3am searching for food. This lead to staying up for 30+ hours before getting on the plane. (Don’t try this. Seriously.)

It’s common knowledge that sleeping on a plane is terrible. I slept uncomfortably for the entire trip back to the States. I couldn’t wait to home to my king-sized Tempur-Pedic bed where I slept for an additional 13 hours!

Taking an additional day off from work helps you recover from your new adventures. You’ll thank yourself when those three cups of coffee fail to keep you engaged in that technical review meeting with the customer. Nothing can replace good sleep.

Take it easy and (mentally) drift away. When you get back to work, don’t jump right into where you left off before vacation. Ease into your mountain of emails and voicemails. Spend at least the first hour or two organizing and creating a plan of attack for all of the things you missed while you were away.

When work becomes overwhelming, think about your amazing trip. Incorporate some of the elements from your trip into everyday life. For example, on my trip to Paris I spent a lot of time conversing in (broken) French and frequently asked strangers, “Comment dit-on…?” (How does one/you say…?). I learned new French words and most importantly, the proper pronunciation of these new words.

Wanting to continue the conversation at home, I used Duolingo to learn more French words and phrases. On occasion I text a former Parisian colleague for a quick French lesson.

Start planning your next trip. This is the easiest way to get excited about travel all over again especially when you’re feeling burned out from the daily grind. Find great deals on flights from an app called Skyscanner. This is my go to app for flights worldwide.

Break out of your routine. In the meantime, try something fun and relaxing like getting a massage, visiting a new restaurant or signing up for a meditation class. Deviating from your usual routine will get you out of the house to experience new things.

What can you do today to help you get over your “post vacation blues”?

(I vote for planning another trip!) 😀

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