How to Cope with Post-Vacation Depression3 min read

Vacations are a great way to disconnect from your working life and relax. But by the final days of your vacation, you may experience feelings of depression. After the vacation, you may not feel how you imagined you would. This could be a case of post-vacation depression. 

What is Post-Vacation Depression?

Post-vacation depression is a term used to describe the negative feelings you face after vacationing. These symptoms do not discriminate and can come to anyone at any age. Vacations are meant to relieve stress, but the emotions don’t always last to make it home.

These feelings may interfere with your day-to-day life, personal relationships and performance at school or work. Some symptoms of post-vacation depression include:

  • Increased irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Feelings of nostalgia
  • Lack of motivation to complete everyday tasks
  • Finding it hard to enjoy the things you used to

How to Cope with Post-Vacation Depression

Although it’s not uncommon to feel sadness when your vacation comes to an end, consistently having feelings of depression afterward should be addressed. Here are some ways to cope.

Document the Memories

When transitioning back to your everyday life, keep the memories alive. Grab a journal and gather your photos or anything that made your trip memorable. It can remind you of all the fun and meaningful moments you had after returning to your daily life.

Make Time to Relax

On vacation, you may feel overwhelmed with all the fun things you have access to. Be sure to find time to relax in between all the fun. Relaxation reduces stress and muscle tension and helps avoid depression and anxiety.

Relaxing more on a vacation can help you feel refreshed rather than burnt out from constantly being on the go. You may want to reconsider your vacation schedule and add some time to sleep in or have a full day of relaxation.

Clean Your Home

The last thing you want to come home to is a mess to clean up in your home. Doing extra work before the vacation will make it easier to come back. If you know you will return to a clean and organized home, there are no chores to dread on the way home.

Do yourself a favor and do some extra chores before heading out the door. Try to clean up any dishes, take out the trash, make your bed and wash the remaining laundry to take some of the load off your shoulders and keep the positive feelings going when you return.

Have a Transition Day

Imagine you get home late on a Sunday evening and plan to work first thing Monday morning. Sending yourself right back into your daily life can be shocking and doesn’t allow you enough time to process the vacation you just enjoyed.

Give yourself an extra day to decompress and unpack before picking up your normal routine. If having an extra day off work isn’t an option, you may want to shorten your vacation and travel home on a Friday or Saturday so you can enjoy the weekend first.

The Bottom Line

Many people experience post-vacation depression when returning home. The sadness and low mood from returning to everyday responsibilities can be daunting. These methods can help you constructively cope with easing back into your routine, but it’s important to get professional help if your feelings of depression continue.


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