Do you suffer from the post-holiday blues? There are ways to beat it!
There’s no doubt about it, taking three months off to go travelling has given me a new lease of life. It’s helped me gain a new perspective on my life in London and has benefited me in all sorts of ways that I’ll share on the blog soon. But I’d be a total liar if I said that coming back to the UK in winter from the sunny climes of Africa has been a breeze. The post-holiday blues are a thing, people!
You know the feeling when you’re just back from travelling, a sunshine holiday, or simply a weekend break from work. It’s hard getting back into normal routine. You just can’t stop wishing you were still on that beach / climbing that mountain / sitting drinking flat whites in that amazing city you just left behind, right?
I’m with you, fellow travellers. Which is why I’m sharing some top tips on how to beat the post-travel or post-holiday blues. I hope they help and if you have any others solutions that have worked for you, please (please) do share.
1. Recreate the food and drink
One of the things that can really help you keep your travel memories alive is to enjoy the food and drink you enjoyed most in that destination. I’m currently drinking loads of Masala tea. Not only is it a very comforting drink to enjoy during the chilly winter, it also reminds me of the delicious pots of this spiced, milky brew I drank in Zanzibar.
Foodie wise, BC and I plan to recreate some of the Cape Malay cuisine we tasted in Cape Town. Oh, and I’m so glad I picked up some South African wine in Duty Free before we dashed for the plane in Johannesburg to remind me of the beautiful towns of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. Eat out, get cooking, or hunt down that Spanish wine. Beat your post-holiday blues through your tastbuds!
2. Get some light therapy
Light therapy is one of the most effective ways to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD – which many people suffer from during the winter months. But it can also help you feel a bit brighter if the change from a warm climate to some gloomier weather is giving you the post-holiday blues. I’ve had one of those Lumie lights tucked away in a cupboard for months and I’m definitely going to dig it out. It’s great for helping you jump out of bed more easily when it’s still dark outside.
3. Print those holiday snaps!
I have something like 3,000 photos from our three months in Africa and I don’t even know where to start with choosing which ones to print. But when I do, I’m going to devote a whole day to sorting through them all, and choosing the ones which will best fill my big empty bedroom wall.
Look through your holiday or travel snaps and pick the ones that are going to look stylish in your home, but also evoke the best memories from your travels. Whether it’s a sunny beach shot or picture of your favourite cityscape, it’s sure to keep your travel memories alive. I love this Travel Gallery Wall by Postcards from Rachel.
TIP: Printing photos can be quite expensive, so search the internet for online deals on websites like Money Saving Expert and perhaps print in bulk. If you already have plenty of art on your walls, find other creative ways to use your photography. Create a photo book, diary, mug or set of coasters, I think you’ll agree, it will be money well spent.
4. Bring back a memento from your travels
Ok, so this is one to do before you’ve got home and let’s face it, most of us bring something back from our travels that we can use as a memento when we’re home. During our trip, we picked up African khangas (a kind of fabric), a photo frame from Zanzibar and various Maasai beads that we’re going to use creatively in our home. It doesn’t have to be expensive – even a new keyring is going to act as a little memento from your travels.
5. Stimulate your senses
Did you know the way to evoke a past memory is through our sense of smell? You know the way an aftershave can remind you of a past partner or the smell of a dish can remind you of being at home with your mum’s cooking? It’s the best way to remind yourself of a memory that makes you smile. So, why not buy some essential oils that remind you of a destination or buy that soap reminds you of that gorgeous hotel. Trust me, it works!
6. Be a tourist in your own city
One of the many things I learnt from my travels was to look around you! So often we forget to be observant and we walk the same streets, get our food from the same shops and take the same routes to work. Take a new interest in your own neighbourhood, change your habits and let yourself get lost (within reason!). This year, I plan to dedicate a day to putting my tourist hat on and exploring some of the walking tours we have here in London. Do the same in your own town or locale. You never know, you might learn something new, meet someone new, or gain a whole new perspective on where you live.
7. Be present. And grateful.
The instant knee-jerk many of us experience when we’re suffering from the post-holiday blues is to book another trip. But one thing I’ve realised during our travels, is I often think way too far into the future and fail to just experience the present. Practicing meditation and mindfulness is a great way to train your brain to be a little bit more present and enjoy the here and now for what it is. Keep a mental gratitude diary and each time you go to bed, make a list of the things you are grateful for in your life. You will feel much brighter for it.
8. Schedule in some happy time
Often, you don’t have much cash to spend when you return from your travels. But schedule in some things you can look forward to, that are going to lift the spirits. Whether it’s a coffee and cake date with a friend or free exhibition that you’ve been meaning to go to, it’s good to get things in the diary that you can look forward to.
There’s no doubt about it, exercise is one of the best mood lifters and that applies to when you’re feeling blue after your holiday. January is a time of year when you can get some great deals on gym memberships. Or if the idea of getting on a cross-trainer fills you with dread, get out on a brisk walk or join a new fitness class and get the endorphins going! I like to end my workout with a trip to the sauna. Close your eyes and you can tell yourself you’re still on that hot, sunny beach!
10. Create a mood board
One of my 2017 goals is to get my Pinterest on! The great thing about this social platform is it allows you to not only share your favourite travel photography, but it’s also a great way to create your own boards to inspire your next travels. Whether it’s a European city break, or a Caribbean beach getaway, there are loads of gorgeous photos which you can use to create your own holiday mood board. What are you waiting for, get pinning!
Of course, if none of this works, you may resort to my favourite solution… get planning your next trip! But I hope some of these tips help keep the post-holiday blues at bay in the meantime. Drop me a note and let me know what works for you when you’re pining for your next adventure.