If holidays are the best of times, it follows that the days after returning home are the worst of times. Here are the tips you need to help you cure that post-travel downer…
If you’ve just fought your way back to work after a wonderful Christmas break, you’ll know that the January fugue is a genuine thing, exacerbated by a new-found yuletide spread across the tummy, a bank account malaise and the fact that everyone but you still seems to be on holidays.
A survey by Booking.com reveals that almost three quarters of respondents say that holidays are indeed the most wonderful time of the year. Not only are the Chrissie holidays “more vital for our happiness than other big life occasions” but they also “bring more lasting happiness than material things”.
So if you’re feeling low, restless and listless, these eight tips will help you get your mojo back.
1. Plan the next one
You may not be able to afford it yet, but even the act of travel planning triggers a Pavlovian response. Even research is enough, with 79 per cent of the people polled by Booking.com saying that just scrolling through pictures of beautiful destinations and beautiful accommodation helps them to feel happy.
2. Settle home quickly
As soon as you open the front door, unpack, stock the fridge and introduce at least a few elements of your daily routine as soon as you can (without going overboard). The more organised and comfortable you are, the easier the transition will be.
3. Take work one step at a time
Embrace the fact that you are not going to tick off every single item on your work to-do list in the first day/week back. Set achievable goals and, if you are feeling particularly delicate (and have a day’s leave spare), consider scheduling in a ‘buffer Monday’.
4. Don’t be a vampire
One reason for holiday happiness is that we spend more time in natural daylight and get our vitamin D fill instead of being imprisoned in a badly lit office. Actually take your lunch break and go for a stroll around the park as a minimum.
5. Take small social steps
OK, so the break decimated your credit card, but there is nothing worse for the doldrums than facing an utterly blank diary until Easter. You have to look forward, even it’s just for simple treats like a night at the movies or a splurge at your go-to restaurant.
6. Call in back-up
Why do you love being at home in the first place? Your family and friends, of course. Keep the holiday alive in your head by retelling the stories and flicking through your photos with like-minded mates (slide night!). If they are your real friends, they will be interested – or at least pretend to be.
7. Wellbeing: the clue is in the name
Post-holiday punish, there are certain routines that you need to get back into immediately for your health. Get into your sleep pattern, return to healthy eating and, we hate to be the bearer of bad news but, it’s time to get off your arse and exercise.
8. Release the resolutions
You loved your holiday so intensely because everything seemed shiny and new, so it’s time to activate those obscure New Year’s resolutions that you’ve been putting off forever. Try something new but not necessarily sensible: take up the French horn, learn Tibetan or volunteer somewhere that makes you feel good about yourself.