What is Post-Vacation Depression? (+5 Ways to Prevent)
This detailed article will be answering what Post-Vacation Depression is. We will also be checking out the various symptoms of Post-Vacation Depression. In addition to this, we will be listing some easy ways through which you can prevent Post-Vacation Depression.
What is Post-Vacation Depression?
Post-Vacation Depression refers to the feelings of depression that a person may face when they are coming back from a vacation or a holiday. Post-vacation depression is also called the post-holiday blues, the holiday syndrome or even the post-vacation syndrome.
Symptoms of Post-Vacation Depression
Post-Vacation Depression is not exactly a clinically recognized mental health condition, but more of a concept. The signs and symptoms of Post-Vacation Depression can differ and vary from person to person. The different signs and symptoms of Post-Vacation Depression are:
Problems in sleeping
The most common symptom of Post-Vacation Depression is that the person may have problems sleeping. However, this is often misinterpreted as jet lag or difficulty in adjusting to the current time zone. This is especially felt if the vacation was international.
In terms of post-vacation depression, the sleep problems may be faced even when a lot of time has passed after the holiday has ended. The person may find it hard to sleep even after using their normal night-time routines and practices.
Feelings of irritability or restlessness
Another symptom of Post-Vacation Depression is the feelings of irritability or restlessness that the person experiences. This restlessness may also manifest through an array of physical symptoms such as fidgeting, nail-biting, hair-twirling, etc.
A lack of interest in life
Returning to normal life once the vacation has ended can also lead a person to show a reduced interest in life in general. This means that they might not take an active interest in the things that brought them joy before.
Feelings of anxiety
Feelings of anxiety in general can also signify a case of post-vacation depression. The anxiety can sometimes even lead to panic attacks in people in severe cases. This can particularly be felt if the vacation was a very meaningful and life-changing one.
Reminiscing about the vacation
Once a vacation has ended, it is normal to reminisce about it and think about the memories often, especially if someone else has asked about it. In a case of post-vacation depression, the person may constantly think about the trip to the point where it affects their daily activities.
Checking out pictures from the holiday
Apart from just thinking about the vacation, they may also frequently check out pictures from the trip. They may also keep looking at pictures and videos of the place online. Their social media also may often have references to their trip or vacation.
Lack of appetite
In certain cases of post-vacation depression, the person may experience a serious lack of appetite or general interest in food. Some people may also often boast about the food they ate during the trip and may actively search for it in their present location.
While post-vacation depression can manifest a lack of appetite in some people, in others, it can lead to an increased appetite. Basically, any sudden changes in terms of appetite which is easily noticeable by others close to the person can indicate a problem in the mood or affect.
Feelings of worthlessness
Another symptom of post-vacation depression that may often go overlooked is having general feelings of worthlessness. This feeling often crops up when the person has placed an immense amount of importance and value on the trip.
Isolating oneself from friends and loved ones
Other than the symptoms mentioned above, the person may also isolate themselves from their friends and their loved ones. This can be due to two different reasons. One, the isolation may come as a result of depression from the trip.
Apart from this, they may feel that the friends they have now are not suitable for their social circle. This especially comes if the trip was a spiritual journey, or if the person feels like they have had an epiphany during their vacation.
Lack of motivation to do new things
As mentioned earlier, the person may feel like they are not motivated to do anything that they have enjoyed before. Other than this, they may also feel that they have no interest in exploring or doing new activities, either alone or with others.
How to prevent Post-Vacation Depression?
Post-Vacation Depression can be easily managed through a number of self-regulation strategies and techniques. A few ways that you can use in order to prevent post-vacation depression after coming back from a trip have been discussed in the following section.
Take a few more days off
Post-vacation depression is more likely to set in if you are hopping off to work immediately after coming back from your trip. In this case, plan a little gap after your return so that you have enough time to gather your thoughts and get back to your daily routine.
Plan another event before you go
Before you leave for your exciting vacation, you can also plan something small and simple once you come back. This can be a small dinner with your friends or your relatives or a simple date with your partner. This can keep you happy when you come back from your vacation.
The event can also be a more active one, such as taking a class or learning a new skill, where your mind and body will be fully involved. When you plan something such as this, you are less likely to get post-vacation depression.
Clean your house before you leave
If your house is too messy and dirty before you leave for your vacation, you will be less motivated to come back to it. This is mostly due to the fact that you will be mostly staying at hotels which are clean and cozy all the time
Before you leave, take some time to clean your house and tidy up so that you can walk into a positive and clean surrounding once you are back. If you have the time and effort, you can even restock your pantry and keep some food options ready in the fridge for when you are back.
Create a journal about your trip
Everything needs closure, including vacations. In order to get closure about your vacation, you can create a journal about your trip mentioning places that you visited and what you felt. This can serve as a permanent record that you can visit later.
If you don’t feel like writing a journal, you can also try making a picture collage of your trip. If you are more of a tech-person, you can create a virtual album, or even put reviews of places that you visited during your trip.
Talk to a therapist
In some cases, post-vacation depression can take a serious turn and bring a lot of anxiety in such a way that you might not be able to get back to your previous life easily. When things seem too difficult for you, you can try talking to a therapist.
Therapists will help you understand the subconscious reason why you place so much importance on your vacation and also train you in coping strategies that you can use to get out of your post-vacation blues.
This detailed article has answered what Post-Vacation Depression is. We have also checked out the various symptoms of Post-Vacation Depression. In addition to this, we have listed some easy ways through which you can prevent Post-Vacation Depression.
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