3 Ways to Fight Post-Vacation Depression

Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life that you don’t need to escape from.
— Seth Godin

While I don't necessarily agree with any theory that assumes vacation is simply an attempt at escaping normal life, I get Godin's point: live a life you love, 24/7, 365 — not just whilst on vacay. And I like that point. I agree with that point. Part of any therapy is pursuing that point. So, props to Seth.

But I'm also pro-vacation. I believe in the rejuvenation that comes from getting away from routine. I'm a major proponent of any opportunity for healthy adventure. And I can't help but think (and know, from personal experience) that travel makes for a transformative journey and a wonderful life story. So, vacation? Yes, please.

However, I know it can be hard to reenter "normal" life after those enjoyable periods of heightened experience, memory making and/or relaxation. In fact, post-depression blues are a pretty universal experience. Attempting to re-acclimate to life at home and work, we often experience a sense of letdown and disenchantment. It's normal for a minor depression to set in for a few days or weeks.

So, what do we do about it? How do you move through the inevitable post-vacation funk? Slowly and purposefully:

Ease back in (or, float on the funk). Give yourself a day or two of grace on the back end of your vacation. Use that time to unpack, grocery shop and do laundry at an unhurried and leisurely pace. Take an hour to look out at the month ahead — what's important, what's not? Put a line through an event or duty or two. Just back from a break and feeling the benefits, you should use that momentum to ban busy from your future schedule by allotting time for self-care and play in your day to day life!

Use the funk to reflect. As you transfer your vacation photos from your camera to your computer, go ahead and reminisce. Sit and soak in the memories and ask yourself some questions: What did your vacation awaken within you? What did your time away teach you about who you are, what you enjoy and what's NOT working in your non-vacation life?

Let the funk propel you toward change. Depression can feel immobilizing, but one of the best ways to fight the funk fast is to mobilize. Do something. Better yet, do something GOOD ... for your body, for someone else, for your future. Exercise. Sign up for that online course you've been thinking about. Cook dinner for a group of friends. Make your ordinary life a little bit more extraordinary by doing one new thing every day.

Of course, if you're up for a little extra help in creating the kind of day-to-day life you won't feel the need to escape from, I'm here to listen ... and to help you write a better life story. GET IN TOUCH and we'll get started