Updated: Jul 22
We all know the feeling of that plane/car ride home, when the “back to the real world” anxiety starts to kick in as you nostalgically reminisce about the past days in paradise and all the people you met.
Many people will experience “after vacation depression” that can last anywhere from a few days to a week, which may seem silly to some, but for a lot of people it can be very debilitating and even lead to suicidal and depressive thoughts.
Think of the next few days after a vacation as a rehabilitation period. Even though you just had a vacation, your mind has to get used to the lack of stimulation from the previous days. When people are on vacation, they are constantly on the go; meeting new people, day drinking by the pool, late nights in loud crowded clubs, spending money without thought, going on adventures, etc. Once you are home from vacation, you go from doing all of these fun stimulating activities, to going back to work, waking up early, stressing about money, etc. It has been proven that going on vacation increases serotonin levels which is great, but that means when you get home and back to “real life”, you're going to feel less happy because your serotonin levels are going to be down compared to what they were when you were on vacation. Take it easy for a week to let yourself get back into your reality.
Here are some rehab tips to help you cure that dreaded “post vacay depression”:
1. This one is more for before you go on the trip, but try to have the day after you get back completely free so you don’t have to work, can sleep in, and don’t have anything to worry about except relaxing and easing back into every day life.
2. Don’t unpack your suitcase for at least a couple days! Most of us cringe when we think about unpacking because it reminds us the vacation is officially over and how we wish we could go back to the day we packed and relive the trip all over again.
Sadly we can't time travel and the bags do have to be unpacked at some point, but that day is not the first few days after you get home.
3. Focus on your health and mindset! Do some meditation, start a healthy meal plan, work out, get a facial & have an at home skin care routine, and/or go on a walk. This will keep you healthy AND busy!
4. Listen to fun music! Try listening to music that gets you in a good mood instead of the sad music you want to listen to. Try a PGB playlist on Spotify while you’re getting ready, driving, working out, tanning, whatever it is, pick a playlist that won’t make you nostalgically sad. PGB has playlists for twerking, girls night, bottle service, whatever type of good mood you want to be in, so pick one and have fun!
5. Start planning/researching your next vacation! The best way to get over the end of a vacation is to look forward to another vacation!
Get ideas on where & when you’ll be going and what girl friends would want to go! You’ll feel much better knowing you’ll be packing that suitcase again soon.
6. Don’t be alone! If you aren’t working or doing anything the week you get home, hang out with a friend for a chill movie day, pool/ tanning day, crafts day, whatever sounds fun but chill! You might want to do bottomless mimosas but you should take a break from the partying.. At least until the weekend. Once Saturday comes around, have a reservation set for brunch with the girls!
7. Go through all your pictures and videos and when you’re ready start a vacation scrapbook. Get one big enough so that you can make it a tradition for after every trip!
8. Keep in touch with all the friends you made! If you got their phone numbers, ask them for their instagrams so you can stay in touch easier! If you already have their socials, send them a DM saying they should hit you up if they’re ever in your city! Maybe a few years down the road you’ll end up partying together again!
9. Write your feelings out! Whether you journal or turn your thoughts into lyrics or poems, writing what you’re experiencing always helps! Once you get your emotions out of your head and onto paper, you’ll feel so much better!
10. Remember that what you are feeling is normal and takes a few days to go away! Even if it sounds odd to be depressed after a vacation, your feelings are valid and very real. Going from partying all day and night with no stress or worries, to having work/school and responsibilities will have anyone bummed out!