Holiday over and feeling a bit hopeless? Beat the back to work and post-holiday blues with our insider tips and tricks!
Any holiday is a huge deal – even more so given the year we’ve just had! It’s understandable how you and your family deem your staycation as the event of the summer, and count down each day like a kid waiting for Christmas. Packing is on your mind, you’ve been planning activities, and when the big day comes, the excitement can’t be contained. You’re thinking of the amazing adventures that are yet to be had, and not giving a side thought to what happens post-holiday.
We’ve got plenty of tips on how to make the most out of your staycation, from things to do, places to see, how to stay safe and where to visit for free. We like to think of ourselves as leading holiday experts, with almost a century in creating memorable experiences for holidaymakers and owners in North Wales and Cumbria.
How to beat the post-holiday slump
This blog post shows how we’re not only concerned about making your holiday the best it can be, but we’ve given a thought to how you might feel after. Keep the post-holiday blues at bay with these ten top tips from our expert holiday sales team:
1. Realise this feeling is normal
Sounds obvious right, but it’s vital that you let yourself feel how you feel. Dreading the post-holiday crash, or feeling a bit blue as you arrive home? That’s OK! You’ve had the time of your life, and it’s only natural you’re a bit sad that the event of the year is over.
Lisa O’Hara, writer of Mind and Body Works, said: “Holidays can be a lovely break from routine, and an opportunity to have space and time to think, relax and enjoy yourself. When we return and get straight back into our routine, only to find that nothing has really changed and we’re coming back to the same old stuff, it can feel like a kind of a flop – and you think ‘Is this it?”
2. Catch up on sleep
Whether you’ve jetted off to Barbados or simply hired a caravan in a UK coastal resort, any amount of travel can mess up your sleep pattern. It’s not just the long journey that can affect your rhythm and sleep psyche. The excitement of packing, the holiday itself, chasing the kids on the beach and rushing around to cram in activities, as well as the thought that goes into checking out, can all cause tiredness.
Sticking to a regular routine when you’re on holiday could save you some sleep-related stress when you return home. We know a huge aspect of any vacation is the long lie-ins and cheery late nights around the fire or dancefloor, and we thoroughly encourage this! But be kind to yourself when you’re away on your jollies and in turn, nature will be kinder to you when you get home.
3. Hydrate yourself happy
This wouldn’t be a well-being blog post without a gentle reminder to stay hydrated. Almost everything you do on your staycation can contribute to dehydration – from sunbathing, swimming (especially in the sea!), eating out due to the increased salt, daily activities, and not forgetting of course the cheeky glass of wine of an afternoon.
Dr Peter Prendergast of Venus Medical, said: “Although the circadian rhythm may not be upset, tiredness, lack of energy and headache commonly result from dehydration, made even worse by excessive alcohol consumption and lack of sleep that may accompany holidays.” Try swapping every drink at the bar with a pint of water, and don’t forget to sip that h20 like there’s no tomorrow when you get home.
4. Ease back into normal life
There’s nothing worse than landing home after a long journey and going straight into the mundanities of housekeeping, adult duties and other non-holiday things. Proper post-holiday slog. When you’re planning your journey home, take into consideration how you might feel when you step through the front door, and see if there’s anything you can change or adapt. Would checking out a little early pre-empt this sluggish feeling by allowing you time to put the kettle on as soon as you arrive home? Maybe even staying an extra night – at another accommodation closer to home – to break up the journey is worth considering.
When you do get home, take a minute to enjoy your house/ flat/ apartment with a cup of tea, and have a chat with your family about the wonderful holiday you’ve just had. Don’t go straight into washing and shopping, or you’ll end up undoing all the hard work of relaxation you’ve spent time on during your holiday!
5. Pre-holiday planning = post-holiday peace of mind
On a similar note, we recommend a little foresight before you set off on your travels. Think ‘how can I help myself when I get back to ward off the post-holiday stress’ or picture how you might lend a friend a hand when they arrive home after a joyous holiday.
Leaving some bread and milk in the freezer is a brilliant way to one-up your future self, and we’d even go so far as to recommend making a meal for your family and freezing it so save the stress – and spending! – of ordering a takeaway when you get back home. Long-life milk works too, and there’s plenty of long-life, non-perishable foods that can sit and wait for you in your cupboards.
The little things like leaving your home tidy and clean, getting the washing machine ready to go before you leave, binning any foods in the fridge that might go off, emptying the bins and making sure any flowers around the house are disposed of, can change make your life easier when you get home. This can also change your whole psyche and helps beat the post-holiday blues. Knowing that after a long journey from your holiday destination, your home will be a lovely, clean sanctuary for you to relax in.
6. Picture perfect – too perfect
‘Holiday photo dump’ is a phrase many of us who use social media are familiar with. It’s now the done thing to upload all of your staycation snaps on Instagram or Facebook when you get home, displaying to the whole world how fab a time you had. Lisa said, however: “In this day and age, being away doesn’t always mean you’ve been switched off, thanks to technology.” There are two things we suggest in light of this:
The first: when you’re on holiday, go old school and buy a disposable camera! It may be unheard of these days, but this means you’ll spend less time plugged in…and the excitement of getting photos developed a week or so after you depart can be a huge lift to those who feel the post-holiday blues.
The second: yes, by all means, upload your lovely photographs to Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and even Pinterest if you want! But it’s crucial you refrain from checking and re-checking how many likes you had. We recommend the mindset ‘once it’s on, it’s gone.’ Dwelling on whether others esteem your palm tree photos ‘love’ or ‘like’ button-worthy will only contribute to low self-esteem, anxiety, and of course, the dreaded post-holiday sadness.
7. Outside sight, outside the mind
We’ll keep this one simple: as tempting as it may be, don’t stay indoors cooped up in your duvet staying sad about your holiday that’s just gone. Get outdoors. Get walking, cycling, running, even if it’s just a trip to the shop to get some post-holiday, pick-me-up chocolate!
We don’t need to drill into you how important fresh air, exercise and the great outdoors is for your mental health. We trust that you know this and deep down, you know shoving a hoodie and some trainers on, plugging in some headphones, and walking even for ten minutes will boost your mood. So do it!
8. Feed your mood to beat the post-holiday blues
Mood-bosting foods like fatty fish, dark chocolate, yoghurt, bananas, oats, berries, nuts and seeds are definitely ones to add to your shopping list. If you’ve been working hard to get bikini-bod ready, cut yourself some slack! Diet is vital to beating the post-holiday blues, and working on a recipe that reminds you of your fun holiday could be a great way to #throwback and keep the boredom at bay.
Try recreating a signature dish from your travels, or using the local cuisine from the area you visited for some food inspo. Your family will love this nod to the good times – and what a great opportunity to look at those pictures you had developed (because you followed step 6, didn’t you…?)
9. Journal your jolly moments
Holidays are special, and every moment counts. Keeping a diary may seem like something a 12-year-old girl may do, but there are some serious benefits to jotting down the best – and worst – bits. Multiple research projects demonstrate that keeping a diary can help keep track of your thoughts, improve your mood, give a sense of achievement and identity by making something your own, and saves you the anxiety of forgetting the small details that you’re desperate to hold onto. It doesn’t have to be a big deal – even some notes on your phone will do – and you and your family can laugh/ reminisce about it in years to come.
Had a great experience and want to share it with other keen holidaymakers? The world of reviews on Trip Advisor and Google is booming, and this can even help boost local businesses in cities, rural areas, resorts and more. Leave feedback online for any amazing experiences you had – just be mindful that people within that company DO read them, so be fair!
10. Book your next break
A true sign of a good holiday is your burning desire to return – which you can do next year! Some holiday groups even offer discounts on future holidays for current guests – yours truly, for example. Scheduling in some definite family time will be something to look forward to, and will help keep your post-holiday blues at bay.
If you’re not quite ready to think of another huge holiday, try booking something inexpensive and low key in the local area. Getting a coffee date with a friend, a salon appointment, or a visit to a local museum or heritage site that will keep the kids happy in the diary will help keep your thoughts positive, and your body active.
Want to share your post-holiday tips and tricks? Let us know in the comments below!