Are you ending the summer holiday period with tons of excitement and motivation as you return to your life?
How is it going farewelling slow breakfasts, luxuriously long and lingering reading time, sunning on the sun lounge, late lunches, lasting lattes, wonderful walks, exploring exciting surroundings, and a whole lot more seemingly exclusive holiday activities?
Have you re-acquainted yourself with the alarm clock?
Back in the world again!
Returning home requires our minds to re-adjust.
Our thoughts turn to work and domestic tasks including backed up emails, job lists, forthcoming meetings, meal planning, food shopping, dog walking, laundry, car washing, gardening, house cleaning, budgeting and the lists go on and on.
In many households the transition to school is taking centre stage for parents, teachers and children alike.
Conversations are around school stationary lists, school uniform needs, book requirements and pick up/drop off arrangements let alone the “what do you want in your lunch?” debate!
Attending to a post holiday mood
It’s normal to return home with mixed emotions.
A holiday is an important rest from your day-to-day life. I trust if you’ve had a break you are feeling well rested.
However, a holiday also tends to highlight how fulfilled and satisfied you are with your life as you re-enter the world.
Post holiday blues is a common experience for many adults and children. Whilst it’s not a recognised mental health diagnosis, the moods associated with returning from a break require care and attention.
In getting back to your life look out for your emotional signs as you readjust to a familiar routine. Such emotional signs and moods may include:
Including difficulty sleeping and concentrating.
It’s hard to get up in the morning or get tasks started and completed.
The feeling of not knowing what’s wrong and how to make any changes. Feeling worried, confused and fearful and not knowing what to do next.
A lack of energy, foggy head, or feeling down and uninspired.
Worries that keep you awake, or thoughts that recur rapidly about money, health, relationships and work.
When everything and everybody seems to annoy you.
A real sense of grief at losing the ‘freedom’ often associated with a holiday or break from the responsibility of daily life. A strong sense of nostalgia at the good times.
Physical aches and pains
The way your body responds to stress includes feeling physically unwell with symptoms like migraines, headaches, stomach pain etc..
How to cope
It’s important to remember to give yourself time to make the re-adjustments necessary as you embark on your new year.
However, if any kind of physical or emotional symptoms persist consistently for a couple of weeks or more it may be worth checking in with a healthcare professional or counsellor.
Recognising your emotional and physical needs is a sign of strength and wisdom.
7 ways to beat the post holiday blues
Set things in motion for something to look forward to. Organise another break. It may be your next holiday, or even a weekend away. What about other activities with your partner, family or friends that you enjoy? It doesn’t have to cost the earth or start saving now.
What activities help you feel refreshed and relaxed? Self care activities need to be designed to nurture you, make you feel good and provide you with joy. Consider how you manage stress and get plenty of rest and sleep.
Honour your holiday
Organise your photos and set them to music on your laptop, share holiday stories, research the amazing food you ate. Those great feelings and memories are worth holding on to and will help you balance the negative with the positive.
Continue your holiday routine
Whether it’s evening bbq’s, a good read, long walks, swimming at the beach, some of the experiences of a holiday could be added to your day, week or month. If you went trekking in Nepal this may be more of a challenge, however, I reckon there will always be some aspects to a holiday that can be incorporated into regular life.
Talk to friends and family about how hard it is to get back. A great stress management skill is to resist storing, avoiding or closing down what you feel. Chat to people you trust to normalise and validate your thoughts and feelings.
Allow time to adjust
‘Hitting the ground running’ is a common catch phrase after a holiday. Try a slow and gradual return. Can you begin by introducing plenty of pauses and breaks in your day?
If your holiday has reminded you of the changes you want to make in your life, or your don’t know where to start, now is a great time to seek out some help from a counsellor, coach or mentor.
How do you readjust to life after a holiday?