MANY OF US would have treated ourselves to a well-deserved end-of-year break as the year wound down to a close. But can we face coming back home?
Travelling and exploring other countries can be a lifetime’s experience, as well as a reminder that the world is a bigger place than just you and your surrounding environment.
But when we return home and land back to reality with a thump, holiday blues can shade our memories as we wish the feeling of being away could be everlasting. Once we get away, we want to stay away!
After 12 years of travelling to 21 different countries, along with frequent (unanswered) prayers for an ash cloud to halt my plane home, here are my top ten tips to help banish those holiday blues:
- Set your intention: At the start of your holiday, visualise yourself returning home refreshed and rejuvenated. Set this as your firm intention of going away but once you’re on holiday, let go and throw yourself into the experience.
- A gentle reminder: A few days before you’re due to return, slowly start reminding yourself that your trip is coming to an end, but remember the good things about being home. This will avoid you coming crashing down from your holiday high.
- There’s more to life: Take at least a day off work after you return, so you can settle back in at home. If you do have to go to work, don’t overwhelm yourself with the amount you have to do and the number of unread e-mails boldly glaring at you from your inbox. The chances are, you’ve just discovered so much more to life, so bring that into your daily routine and take your workload into your newly found easy stride. Bringing gifts or local snacks for work colleagues will enable you to share a piece of your experience.
- Care to share: When you come back, arrange to meet with family and friends and enjoy sharing your travelling tales and photos. This will help you to remember your holiday with a smile and surrounding yourself with the people in your life will put things into perspective.
- Keep on moving: Resume all the activities you enjoy; taking long walks in the park, going for a drive, catching a new movie or theatre play or dining at your favourite restaurant. This will get you out and about and enjoying the place you left behind.
- Note to self: Make a mental note or write down all the things you learnt which gave you a feeling of happiness that you can carry throughout your life, instead of just on holiday. You may have met people you want to stay in touch with or simply remember from time to time; you may have experienced a new activity you wish to pursue further; or maybe you just saw a way of life or living that you wish to emulate.
- Just passing through: If you’re really feeling the edge of those holiday blues, don’t deny or suppress them. Watch the sinking feeling but try not to identify with it or let it overcome you and create a negative space for those around you. Keep reminding yourself that the feeling will pass.
- Like a dream: A long holiday can feel like the perfect dream, but you don’t have to feel as though you’re waking up to a nightmare once you’re home! If there are things that really drag you down in life, use the time away to reflect and make a plan for change once you return. Try and accept the way things are for the time being but decide how you want your life to be and what you need to do to transform it.
- Short and sweet: Plan your next holiday or at least start thinking about where you’d like to go! Sometimes, an interim short weekend break is enough to get away and recharge instead of allowing enough time to really get attached to a place.
- Everything is temporary: If a holiday was to last forever, it would lose its novelty and just become everyday life. It’s the exciting unfamiliarity of a new experience that draws us in, keeps us interested and makes us long for more. Our mind often plays tricks on us, making an experience seem better (or sometimes worse) than it was which stops us letting go. Put the trip into perspective and gently tug yourself back into a reality that isn’t actually as bad as it seems.
– Monica Sarkar