I am a full-time traveling registered nurse, fitness enthusiast, and nutrition expert. Every morning I wake up intending to bring awareness of the importance of health and spiritual wellness, especially to the traveling community. At Messy Bun Traveler, we promote travel that allows the traveler to either kick-start, maintain, or enhance a healthy lifestyle. So whether you're someone who travels for business, travels for pleasure, or new to travel and looking for health advice while on the road, this blog is for you!
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Take a look at the following list of questions and answer “yes” or “no” as honestly as you can.
If you answered yes to any of these questions you may have experienced (or are experiencing) post-vacation depression, also known as post-vacation blues.
Post-vacation depression affects everyone a little bit differently; some don’t even experience it at all. Typically, the longer the vacation, the longer it can take to adjust back to life at home.
Many who have taken year-long trips abroad have shared that even after being back home for a year, they still don’t feel fully back to normal.
I personally experienced post-vacation depression after coming home from my month-long trip to Europe.
It was the first time I had really traveled. I met so many amazing people and had so many life-changing experiences during my trip. I hopped on my return flight as a completely different person but when I came home, everything was EXACTLY the same as how I had left it. My house was in the same condition, my friends were still working at their same jobs, and everyone in my hometown was just continuing business as usual.
It’s a strange feeling to get back into your daily routine as if nothing has changed, while emotionally you know that everything has changed for you. When you come home, it can sometimes feel like an anticlimactic end to a life-changing experience.
If you’ve ever felt this way, you’re not alone. It’s no surprise that travelers can sometimes have feelings of sadness after returning home.
Some people start to get their bouts of sadness right before a vacation ends. To help remedy this, start thinking about life at home.
Are there people you want to see or errands you need to run? Start mentally going through your home daily routine so it doesn’t seem as so much of a shock later.
Don’t let this take away from your last days of travel either, of course!
Talking about your experiences and sharing your stories is healthy and will help bring closure to your trip and therefore lessen the blow of post-vacation depression. Friends and family will be more inclined to hear about your vacation within the first week or two, so make sure to have all your pictures and videos prepared!
If possible, don’t return to work immediately. Instead, try and give yourself time to transition back into everyday life and reset your biological clock. Nothing makes you feel as though you’ve come back to reality than immediately throwing yourself into your old routine.
This is something you can start doing before the end of your trip. Is there anything you want to accomplish when you get home? Setting goals will give you a sense of motivation and encouragement, as well as help curb the dread of returning home.
Exercise releases endorphins or the “feel-good” hormones in the body. For me, after my month-long trip to the Philippines, I came home and decided to join a “6-Week Challenge” at my local gym. This program was composed of eating healthy and committing to working out at least six times a week.
To help combat post-vacation depression, get into the habit of working out at least 3-4 times per week.
After living out of a suitcase for a few weeks, or even months, you may realize that you have more stuff than you really need. This is the perfect opportunity to get some spring cleaning out of the way!
No matter how much we financially plan for a trip beforehand there is always something along the way—some unexpected occurrences or mishaps that cause us to have to spend more money than we were initially anticipating.
Use this time at home to help rebuild your bank account and reset your finances!
One of the best ways to get you out of your post-vacation depression slump is by planning your next great adventure! It offers as both a distraction, as well as gives you something to look forward to!
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