Post-Travel Depression or PTD. The struggle is real. Returning home, whether a week-long getaway or a longer journey, can hit your hard. Typically the longer the trip, the more intense the blues may be.
Just like it sounds, PTD is a feeling of depression that hits you at the end of a trip. Sometimes it can even begin in the days leading up to the end of the trip. Tiredness, loss of appetite, strong feelings of nostalgia and lowered mood may be experienced. Jet lag can intensify these symptoms.
In general the post-vacation blues will dissipate on their own after a few days but it can take weeks to fully wear off. To help speed up the process, here are a few ideas that I've found helpful.
1. If possible, don't immediately return to work or studies
I used to return to work the next day after flying home as I didn't want to waste precious vacation time off on a day at home. As a result I would feel like a bag of crap for a week or longer and my suitcase remained unpacked for longer. Now I try to give myself a few days to transition back into everyday life, flying home on a Friday or Saturday possible. Doing this will allow you to overcome your jet lag, unpack and do your laundry, and give you time to begin to process your vacation experiences.
2. Catch up with your family/friends
Seeing your favourite people can help you be happy to be home if you're not quite there yet. On my return home from my last trip I actually scheduled dinner with some buddies right after airport pick up and it gave me something to look forward to come home to. Even if it's not right after you arrive home, do schedule a meet up sometime soon after your return to catch up and also share some of your travel memories!
3. Take care of your wellbeing
It can be hard to take proper care of ourselves when we travel. Eating out all the time, not keeping up with regular workouts, drinking more, disrupted sleep patterns; can all take a toll on our bodies and our minds. So get right back into your healthy routines, or maybe make improvements. Healthy food, exercise, and getting to sleep early can all help reduce depression.
Relive your vacation by sorting through your photos and organizing your favourites into albums you can share on social media and with friends. If you're like me and keep a travel diary, or you keep a travel blog, review and spend some time reliving your best moments and processing what you learned. If you didn't do either of these things, then perhaps this an opportunity to jot down some of your memories and thoughts to accompany those fav photos you have selected.
5. Start Planning Your Next Trip
One of the best ways to beat PTD is by beginning to plan out your next trip. If you haven't already, make a list of everywhere you dream of visiting. Using this list prioritize where you want to go sooner rather than later. Then start making a plan to make that next trip a reality.
If PTD comes up for you, I hope you will find one or several of these helpful when you return home. And if want to take better care of yourself during your travels, sign up to receive my "10 Wellness Tips For Your Travels" https://mailchi.mp/aab65243fedc/wellnesstips