Categories: Opinion

Here are 5 ways to deal with post-holiday sadness

Here are 5 ways to deal with post-holiday sadness

After two years of a pandemic, ever-changing travel restrictions and mandatory Covid-19 the summer of 2022 signals that vacations are finally back in fashion.

With most Covid-19 restrictions lifted, vacation planning has become easier and many trips that had been previously postponed for reasons related to the pandemic can finally take place.

But in practice, flight cancellations, a shortage of workers and the general chaos of travel have robbed many travelers of the stress-free happiness they had long expected.

And for those lucky enough to have been able to have a smooth trip, the return to reality is proving even more difficult than usual.

Whatever your vacation story, here are five tips from the experts to help you deal with post-vacation blues.

1. Plan a break for when you get back

We often overload ourselves with a long list of household chores as soon as we get home or jump straight into work at lightning speed, which emphasizes the contrast between vacation and reality.

Instead, if possible, take a day to transition before returning to work, and minimize household chores by moving forward what you can do before you travel, advises Dr. Andrea Bonior, licensed clinical psychologist and author of the book “Detox Your Thoughts” .

“I often see people having a really hard time with post-holiday blues when it happens all of a sudden – so last night I was at the beach and now I’m at the office – instead, if possible, try to plan a rest day for so you can breathe and have some time to readjust,” she says.

“Give yourself a little self-compassion,” adds Dr. Laurie Santos, professor of psychology at Yale University and host of the podcast The Happiness Lab . “You don’t have to respond to every email right away. It’s okay to get back into your routine little by little, and the evidence suggests that people will be more understanding than you think.”

2. Try to keep a vacation mindset

“Remember that the end of the holidays does not mean the end of the fun”, says Santos. “We can find ways to get a little more of that feeling of being on the go if we continue with this tourist-at-home mentality. Maybe try a new restaurant or stroll through a new neighborhood.”

THE Dr. Tracy Thomas a psychologist and emotional scientist, says it’s important to identify what makes you feel good when you’re out or in your “vacation mindset” and try to make that part of your daily reality.

“It’s fascinating how much people do on vacation that they don’t do at home – whether you get a massage, wake up to watch the sunrise or walk around town when you’re out, try to get a massage.

little of it when you get home.”

Thomas also suggests cooking up some of the dishes you enjoyed while you were away to maintain the experience. “When I go to Italy and eat pomodoro pasta, probably for about a month after that, when I get home, I keep making or ordering that dish rather than letting that process go away.”

3. Practice gratitude

“Take some time to recall your positive travel memories,” advises Santos. You can make an album, a diary or just remember all the good experiences you had when you were lucky enough to travel.

“You may have heard the advice that you should invest in experiences, not things. It turns out that one of the reasons this is the case is that experiences create fonder memories than our material purchases – we can get a boost of happiness not just by experiencing the holidays, but by remembering them,” adds Santos.

In addition to being grateful for what you had, try practicing gratitude in your daily life, says Bonior, explaining that while gratitude is good for us, many people don’t understand what it means.

“People tend to think that gratitude means you have to count your blessings for everything, you can’t be upset about anything, someone is worse off than you, so you should be grateful, but gratitude really means leaning on. in everything – being able to really engage and recognize that we are lucky, but also not be afraid to recognize the not-so-good points.”

“True gratitude doesn’t mean you have to be happy and feel blessed all the time, it means realizing that the whole experience of life is something amazing and that I’m here living it,” she adds.

4. Exercises

Many scientific studies have shown that moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise is good for fighting anxiety and depression. In fact, a study published in April in the journal JAMA Psychiatry showed that adults who did activities equivalent to 1.25 hours of brisk walking a week had an 18% lower risk of depression compared to those who did not exercise.

“Exercise doesn’t mean you won’t get depressed, but it does help to alleviate that,” says Bonior, adding that exercise doesn’t have to be intense or look a certain way — even a walk or dance in your bedroom can be a boost to exercise. your mental and physical health, she explains.

Plus, exercise is widely known to improve sleep, lower blood pressure, reduce stress, and improve your mood — so while you might feel like being depressed around the house after the holidays, it’s a good idea to force yourself. going out for a mood-inducing boost.

5. Acknowledge your feelings

Talk to others about how you feel, sympathize with other travelers or keep a journal – it’s important to stay connected with friends and loved ones and not isolate yourself.

“Research shows that just being able to articulate that we have a certain emotion makes that emotion seem less scary, so we feel more in control. It also helps us to avoid thinking in black and white,” says Bonior, explaining that we can have multiple emotions at the same time, such as being sad but excited.

Of course, if you’re feeling a very heavy sense of fear about your routine or your job, it could signal a need for change or a reassessment of where you want to be. If symptoms persist or worsen, you may also want to seek professional help to address other underlying causes.

“If your vacation wasn’t so great, you can get a boost of happiness here by trying to find out what you’ve learned,” says Santos. “The act of expressively recording what went wrong can help you discover what insights you gained or how you grew in the process. At the very least, even the worst vacations can turn into funny stories that we can share with friends to increase social connection.”

Source: CNN Brasil