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So you’ve returned back to reality after an amazing vacation and oh boy, does it suck. Holiday blues are a real thing and many people suffer a brief period of sadness or depression as you ‘come down’ from the high of being on holiday and not having to face normal day-to-day life and family obligations. Holiday blues are also common following holiday season, especially at Christmas when people return to work in January. If you’re suffering from feeling low after your vacation, here are some ways to combat holiday blues:

By Josie Kouwenhoven / Unsplash

1. Start Planning Your Next Adventure

Now that you’re back home you can start planning your next vacation. Did you get chatting to other travelers on your last trip and hear about a cool destination you want to add to your list? Start doing some research and get excited about where you’d like to go next. Throwing yourself into new ideas for a trip is a great way to combat holiday blues.

By Chris Lawton / Unsplash

2. Accept That You’ve Got the Blues

Accept that you’ve got the holiday blues, and know that it will go away. It might take a day or even a week, but normal life will set in. After vacation, some people can genuinely feel a sense of loss and have similar symptoms to SAD or ‘seasonal affected disorder’, which affects many people in the northern hemisphere each year. Mental health is an important thing to take seriously, so be sure to share how you’re feeling with close family and friends. Always seek medical advice if things feel like more than just a case of the post-holiday blues.

By Stefan Spassov / Unsplash

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3. Change Your Perspective

While it’s easy to wish you never had to go back to that 9 to 5, the reality is that unless you’re a millionaire, life is not a permanent holiday. It’s worth having some perspective — many people in the world do not have the opportunity to travel abroad, so going on an international vacation is a privilege! Enjoy the experience and the memories you have. A change in perspective is vital in combating post-holiday blues. Instead of thinking ‘I wish I were still there’ what about ‘damn, what an awesome vacation!’

By Anika Huizinga / Unspalsh

4. Make a Fun Weekend Plan

Whether you buy tickets for a music concert, decide to try your hand at something new, or treat yourself to a meal at that swanky restaurant in town, make a nice weekend plan. You’ll instantly have something to look forward to and it will perk up your mood.

By Kylie Lugo / Unsplash

5. Spend Time With Friends

There’s nothing like spending time with friends to beat a holiday come-down. You can tell them all about it, show them photos, and maybe even start planning a trip together in the future. 

By Eric Nopanen / Unsplash

6. Is It Time To Mix Things Up?

If your post-holiday blues are really bad, maybe it’s time to think about what’s at the core of your feelings. Why are you dreading returning back to your normal life? Maybe you’re overdue a job or career change, or you could even think bigger and consider moving to a new city. If you’re approaching retirement age, what about considering a big change and moving to a new country? Check out our top reasons why you should think about retiring in Portugal.

By Domenico Loia / Unsplash

7. Change Your Environment

Move your apartment or room around — trust us, it works! Just by changing a few pieces of furniture, you can make it feel like you’re in a new environment and enjoy your apartment or room with fresh eyes. If you’ve got holiday blues following the Christmas break, take down the festive decorations and buy some bright flowers or plants.

By Timothy Buck / Unsplash

8. Sign Up For a New Hobby

Always wanted to try a salsa class? Sign up! Now is the time. It will give you something to look forward to and also fill the ‘void’ after returning from vacation.

By Frank Romero / Unsplash

9. Avoid Jet Lag

Having jet lag can contribute to feeling low after returning from vacation. If you go back to work immediately after returning from a vacation, start normalizing your sleep pattern a few days beforehand. One or two days before you head home, start adjusting your sleep pattern to what it would normally be at home. Experts recommend that you adjust your sleep by one hour each day per time zone traveled. Use a jetlag calculator to plan your sleep pattern wisely. 

By Aaron Barnaby
How to Combat Holiday Blues
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