How To Kick The Post-Holiday Blues

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By: Roberta Mancuso

We’ve all been there. You return from a vacation sad, dejected and even less refreshed than you were before you left. Sure, you may have drunk your body weight in cocktails by the pool (or gluhwein by the fireplace, depending on where you were), danced the night away or caught up on some much-needed R n R, but now you’re feeling like none of that ever happened at all.

The post-holiday blues are a very real thing. While vacations do lift peoples’ spirits, the effects unfortunately don’t last long.

It’s not uncommon to crash at the end of your vacation – a heady mix of sadness that the good times are over, the adjustment of returning to work/everyday life and overindulging in food and alcohol.

Here are a few tips on how to kick the post-holiday blues after that amazing vacation:

Start planning your next trip

I remember flying back from three weeks in Vietnam and Cambodia and planning my next break while on the plane home. It might be in six months’ time, a year’s time or even five years’ time, but planning where you want to go next will help dull the pain of saying goodbye to the great holiday you’re just been on. Even thinking about and planning things can give you as much pleasure as actually doing them.

Find things to look forward to

Not everyone has the luxury of being able to travel, whether that’s for health, financial or other reasons. So if you’re coming down hard from a holiday, it’s important to plan things to look forward to, both short and long term. In other words, shift the focus to everyday things that give you pleasure. Think about weekends away at the beach or in the wilds, planning a dinner with your friends, treating yourself to a massage or date night with your partner.

Look after yourself

Holidays often involve a lot of socialising and partying, which means a lot of eating and probably way too much drinking. Having a hangover from eating the wrong types of foods and alcohol doesn’t help with those post-holiday blues. It’s time to start looking after yourself by eating right, drinking less and moving more. Add a walk at least once a day and a more regular bedtime. Regular self-care routines may have disappeared during your break but you can reclaim them.

Phone a friend

If you’re feeling a bit down in the dumps, a great way to lift your spirits is to share a laugh or two with friends. Steer away from conversations about how you’d rather be back on that beach in Barbados and instead share a lively conversation about what’s going on in your life right now. Just chatting to a mate is a great way to lift your spirits.

Make some real changes

Did you absolutely love those arepas you ate in Colombia? Or maybe you’re a little obsessed with flamenco music after that trip to Spain? Your holiday doesn’t have to completely end. Take what you enjoyed from your break and incorporate it into your life. If you ate foods you adored on your holidays, make them at home or find a restaurant that serves them. If you loved hearing and speaking a foreign language, start to learn it. Listen to the same music you danced to in the club in Madrid and meditate like you did on that retreat in Bali. Take a little bit of your trip home with you.

Take a meditative few minutes

Speaking of meditation, why not take a few minutes during your day to reflect on the great times you had? It’s a bit of a clichéd, old-fashioned idea but “counting your blessings” can be an antidote to the blues.

If you’re jetlagged…

Being jetlagged on top of a little depressed at the end of your holidays doesn’t help. Jetlag affects your ability to sleep on a normal schedule, and that lack of sleep can contribute to feeling depressed that your vacation is over. Get yourself back in sync with your home time zone by trying to stick to your usual sleep schedule. Also avoid alcohol and caffeine for a few hours before you go to bed.

Give yourself an attitude transplant

If you’re still trudging around depressed that your break is over, it’s time to change your thoughts. Looking at the world through mud-covered glasses won’t help you. In many cases, changing the way you think about something can alter the way you feel about it. As that great Cat in the Hat, Dr Seuss, once said, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened!”

Prioritise

You’ll probably come home to mountains of work emails, meetings to go to, doctor’s appointments which need to be kept, a messy garden, the cat needing its vaccination, piles of dirty clothes… the list goes on. It’s enough to send you into a panic. Stop, breathe, prioritise – the key word being prioritise. It might be tempting to try to do everything at once, but you will get completely overwhelmed and stressed out. Figure out what is most important and work down the list from there.

Reminisce

If you are anything like me, you’ll come home with thousands of photos, or most certainly more than you know what to do with. Go through your photos, delete what you don’t need, upload them into online albums and label them – don’t just leave them sitting on an SD card. Reminisce about your vacation by displaying those photos. Set them as backgrounds on your work or home computer, phone or tablet. You can also print out a few pictures to pin up around your home or office to remind you of those relaxed days.

Remember, the blues won’t last

It might feel raw, but take comfort in the knowledge that nothing lasts forever, including the post-holiday blues. Time will pass, soon that trip will be a distant memory (which isn’t such a bad thing, holding on to the past is never healthy) and you’ll eventually get back into the swing of things!


Note: An experienced writer of 15 years, Roberta has perpetually itchy feet and has been exploring the world for a decade. She has travelled to over 50 countries and has lived la dolce vita in Italy, tried the London life and is now living among llamas in Peru. The copyrights on the article belong to the author. The responsibility for the opinions expressed in the article belongs exclusively to the author.

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The Most Vibrant Cities to Visit at Christmas

By: Sathesh Alagappan

christmas-lights-150x150With Christmas only round the corner, traditional festivities around the world are beginning to blossom. For the most of us, we all have our own traditions for Christmas and our own way of celebrating it. But if you fancy something different this year, why not do some travelling? Experience a different culture of celebration, try out some new exciting foods and see what kind of traditions, other countries have across the globe. Whether your winter trip enhances the feeling of festive nostalgia, or even the sun brightens up your vacation, here is a fantastic list of some truly spectacular places to visit at Christmas.

New York, United States

What could be a better way to start things off, other than the Big Apple. The city of New York is perhaps one of the most vibrant and electrifying places to be over the Christmas period. America, being what it is go all out in completely lighting the place up.

The ice rink has been around for an incredible 79 years, but is topped by the enormous Christmas tree in central park, which has been going up for an even more impressive 84 years. With so much going on, it really is a special place to be, with hundreds of food and clothing stalls, there is simply nothing better than having a coffee and a pretzel wandering the city.         

Barcelona, Spain

Fancy a break from the cold? Barcelona is the place to be. The heat is just about right, so you’re not sweltering or shivering, but the City is spectacular over the festive period. If you can extend your Christmas break to until Three King’s Day which finishes on January 5th you are in for a real treat! It’s a huge festival with Melchior, Gaspar and Balthazar parading through Barcelona.

Cannons are fired off, there are fireworks galore and then the mayor hands over the keys of the city, the magic of the Magi commences. The parade has a magnificent cavalcade of floats, with camel’s elephants and giraffes. If you want something a bit different this is definitely the place to be!

Lapland, Finland

Perhaps the most magical place to be on Christmas. This is where as a parent, you could earn some serious brownie points. Despite legends having us believe that Santa Claus comes from the North Pole, the Finnish have set us up, with a rather brilliant alternative.

Lapland in Finland is like Christmas HQ, it is everything that we are told as children. Filled with reindeers and elves. Not to mention the big fell in Mr. Claus, there is even Mrs. Claus who can take you through Elf school teaching you some cooking techniques and calligraphy!

Quebec, Canada

For those of you who love saving the planet, or being as environmentally friendly as possible then this is the place to go. With a Christmas tree made from recycled sheet metal and lights powered by cyclists, Canada is the place to go. The place is buzzing with Christmas vibe and activity in one of the most uniquely decorated places in the world.

With street food sausage and roasted chestnuts around, what could be better. If you really, really want to get into the festivities of it all, then check out some theatre, the Canadians love the nativity it’s magical. If you get tired of it all, there’s always the ski slopes to hit!

London, England

A great place to be around Christmas. Simple as that, the city comes alive during the festive period, no longer is it a grey place, full of grit and smoke, but a well lit vibrant city. There are Christmas markets galore, packed full of street food. What makes it so great, is that the street food is from all around the world, so even in London you can get a taste of traditional taste of India or Germany!

If you want a specific spot, try Hyde Park. The whole place becomes a fantastic ‘Winter Wonderland’ which well and truly gets you into the Christmas spirit.

So why not try out one of these spectacular cities during the festive period. Immerse yourself in a different culture and try something different!


Sathesh Alagappan is a freelance writer based in London. He is interested in sports, politics and business.

Note: The copyrights on the article belong to the author. The responsibility for the opinions expressed in the article belongs exclusively to the author.