Let me start by saying that I am a STRONG, yet vulnerable, black woman who deals with depression. In this case, post-vacation depression. That’s okay. Hashtag Issaconfession. You’re probably thinking, “How in the hell does a vacation (to the Caribbean) lead to the blues?”
Welllll, dot dot dot.
When I return from any trip, no matter the duration, I experience a feeling that I can’t put into words. Sometimes it results in tears. I returned from Puerto Rico 11 days ago, and initially was too exhausted to have any feels. As post-vacay days progressed, I was overwhelmed with many emotions and desired to go on another getaway ASAP. My mind wandered everywhere from wondering if I did enough to planning my return to the island. While browsing the web (here and here), I discovered I’m not alone. I, mean, I knew that, but I didn’t realize how many people share my struggle.
So…what is post-vacation depression?
According to the world wide web, post-vacation depression (PTD) is a mood a person returning home from a long trip (usually a vacation) may experience. It’s known as post-vacation blues here and post-holiday blues in other parts of the world.
Personally, I experience not only sadness, but fatigue. Also, an urge to jet-set immediately, the desire to stay bound to my bed, a slight sense of loneliness, etc. In the past, I would wait for everything to subside, but now I’m aware of coping mechanisms to help ease my unhappiness.
How can I travel and return home unbothered?
The prescription for relieving post-vacation depression may be something as simple as unpacking. Yes, unpack that damn suitcase! Keeping a fully-loaded bag could make you feel as though you’re not really home. Unpacking might help you realize that you’re no longer lounging on yesterday’s beautiful beach and forces you to be present. Also, avoid unnecessary frustration by putting essentials back where they belong, so you don’t have to make daily digs (through your luggage) a thing. It’s not fetch.
Tip: Set an alarm and commit to unpacking within a reasonable timeframe if you cannot put everything away immediately upon your return.
Check your funds.
While this may seem obvious, lots of travelers go abroad, blow money fast, and return home without batting at an eye at their Bank of America balance. DO NOT DO THIS. It could lead to stress from trying to make ends meet if you ain’t got it like that. It’s important to check your funds, so that you can budget wisely until payday. Looking through your accounts will help you weed out any fraudulent transactions, should any occur.
Tip: Before departing, set aside a budget to avoid spending outside of your means. Keep a little extra on the side for emergency situations like lost luggage, flight changes, etc.
Begin a new journey.
You escape for a period of time and have the chance to rest, relax, and reset. By doing so, your mind transitions into a state of peace, which can lead to clearer thoughts. You’ll try new foods, face new adventures, and you might even cross a few things off of your bucket list. Now is the perfect time to start a new journey and kick post-vacation depression in the patootie! Maybe you want to live a healthier lifestyle? Now’s the time to plan future workout sessions. Now’s the time to try out weekly meal prepping. Got a parasitic ex or friend? New state of mind, a higher set of standards…who dis? Begin a new journey. Try something out of the ordinary as soon the wheels touchdown.
Tip: Take baby steps and document your transition and know that it’s okay to be human. It may take a few vacations to go from 0 to 100.
Appreciate your experience.
I chose to save the best for last!
There are many ways that you can show appreciation for your travel experiences. Going through photos is my personal favorite, but there are other creative ways to remember the fun you had. Journaling post-trip will help you recall your top memories. Perhaps, you went snorkeling for the first time, tried a new dish, or experienced a culture shock? Jot that down. Relive those moments and then start planning for your next destination.
Tip: Create a Facebook or Dropbox album to share with your loved ones. Mark a map of the places you’ve visited and your desired destinations to appreciate where you’ve gone and what’s next to explore. The world is your oyster.
There’s no sure-fire cure to beating post-vacation depression, but here’s to trying! We’re all in this together. *cue High School Musical flashbacks* If you found this informative or helpful, comment below and let me know. Also, if you have any recommendations not previously mentioned, please feel free to share. We may not be able to eliminate depression, but together, we can make coping a little easier.