Post-Vacation Blues: 5 Ways to Ease Back Into Work Mode

Post-Vacation Blues: 5 Ways to Ease Back Into Work Mode

Those bills aren’t going to pay themselves!

Sometimes travelling feels like a roller coaster flying at breakneck speed; clinging for dear life, you attempt to keep your eyes open at every turn. Then it screeches to a halt. The ride is over, and you have to come down from that roaring high all alone. Crawl into the confines of your old life, as if a life-affirming event didn’t just happen to you. 

If you’ve spent a long time on foreign soil, touching down in your homeland can feel shaky and disconcerting. You’re itching to move around again, consumed by a deep sense of loss that we like to call “post-vacation blues.” You almost want to prolong your jet lag because your mind is still convinced you’re in another country. 

For when you don’t know what to do with yourself, we’ve rounded up the tried-and-true methods that will preserve the euphoria of your trip — all while helping you find your beat in your old stomping grounds again! 

Also read: 6 out of 10 Singaporeans Feel Vacation-Deprived, According to New Study. Are You One of Them? 

1. Start with the easiest parts of your routine

post-vacation blues: back to work

Maybe you accidentally stretched yourself too thin for the last leg of your journey, and your body is ready to crash any moment now. At this point, you’re probably tired of packing your things and living out of a suitcase. 

For the next few days after your return, try to rest and slowly catch up on the events you’ve missed while you were away. It can be tempting to just dive right into the pile of work waiting for you, but don’t overwhelm yourself with too many things to do. Instead, give yourself ample time to transition back into your normal routine. 

Remember to look forward to the future: Even high-achieving nomads need a period of rest and relaxation before the next trip! 

2. Surround yourself with keepsakes from your vacation

When the last thing your body remembers is shuffling from place to place, the habit of staying in one area and typing at a computer feels like a shock to the system. Only a while ago, your days were filled with daring exploits. Now, you’re staring down a hill of never-ending tasks that only seems to grow taller by the hour. As you resume the daily grind, you start to wonder if your holiday was a fever dream. 

Pro-tip: You can ease your post-vacation blues a little by decorating your living space and work desk with mementos from your journey. Use the multi-coloured pouches you bought from Seoul. Fasten to your bag the wooden keychains you found at a night market in Taipei. Devour all the dried mangoes you brought home with you, as you reminisce about heavenly beaches in the Philippines. 

Even if it’s as simple as picking out decent shots to post on Instagram, sorting through these memories gives you a nudge that, hey, your trip really did happen! And of course, you can always arrange postcards and framed photographs near your desk to always remind you of where you’ve been. 

3. Memorialise your travels

Days turn into weeks. Weeks bleed into months. Suddenly, you’re staring at a mysterious photograph on your phone and wondering what you were doing at the time it was taken.

Don’t let this happen to you! Right on the heels of a trip, your impressions of the journey are the freshest they will ever be. Press these moments to the pages of your journal while everything is so clear, because it’s going to be much harder when life’s priorities get in the way later. Even if you do it for an audience of one, documenting your trip is a sure-fire way to keep those post-vacation blues at bay and your travel memories closer. 

Also read: Why it’s Important to Write About Your Travels

4. Get in touch with familiar faces

When you see all your friends, it’s as if you never left the country! Meeting up with your old buddies again lets you in on all the juicy details that occurred while you were too busy and too far away to notice. Not to mention they can’t wait to hear all of your stories! You, on the other hand, are simply dying to gush about how much this recent trip has changed you. 

As nice as your friends are, though, they might not want to hear you talk about your travels all the time. There’s a fine line between inspiring others and blatantly showing off (and maybe relying on their affirmation to cure your post-vacation blues). You’ll know when you’ve gone on for too long if you see them shifting in their seat and looking nervously around the room. If they change the topic abruptly, that’s a sign that you should probably move the conversation along. 

Also read: What It’s Like Being the Only Travel Addict in My Group of Friends

5. Find activities that challenge you

As long as you discover new places on your own time, you can sustain the same wide-eyed wonder you felt in your travels. Sometimes the key to warding off a holiday hangover is to find contentment in small hobbies and everyday joys, like joining a yoga class or visiting the recently opened coffee shop next door. Once you accept that your trip is really over, you realise nothing is stopping you from planning a new one! 

Also read: 2020 Long Weekends: 8 Short Getaway Ideas From Singapore

post-vacation blues: travel again

If you find yourself struggling with post-vacation blues, how about sharing your experiences with fellow travellers who might be going through the same experience as you? Tell us your sensational stories and tag us on Instagram: @tripzillamag!  

About Author

Tiffany Conde
Tiffany Conde

Tiffany is a writer based in Manila. When she was younger, she knew she wanted to write stories or go on adventures—now, she's learning to do both. She enjoys being swept up in books that spark her curiosity for new places, both real and imaginary.

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