Why Do I Feel Worse After My Vacation?

Ideally, a vacation should leave you feeling refreshed, revived, and ready to ease back into everything you left behind (if a little wistfully). But many people experience the opposite, finding themselves depressed or full of dread – almost worse than if they hadn’t taken a break at all.

One of the things that bring people down when returning from vacation (and sometimes even creeping into the last few days of vacation) is everything that needs to be done when they get home: restocking the kitchen, doing the laundry, a house left in disarray during packing. The best way of avoiding this is to plan as smooth a return for your first night back as possible – even if you throw out everything perishable before leaving, make a simple meal that you can pop in the freezer and defrost when you return. Tidy up the house before you go so you don’t come back to a disaster. If possible, plan to return in the morning so you have time to resettle before work in the morning.

Diet has an effect on our minds as well as bodies: it’s great to treat yourself on vacation, trying local specialties, eating rich restaurant foods and enjoying more alcoholic beverages, but be aware that it will effect your energy levels and mood. When you come home, you may feel fatigued, sluggish, or moody, and one way to revitalize is by eating healthy foods and getting back into your normal diet. Make a point of catching up on the vegetables, fruits, and non-alcoholic things you may have traded out during your vacation to boost your mood and your body.

Although vacations are meant to be relaxing, many people actually sleep less than they do at home; this can be because of excited children, staying up later to enjoy themselves, drinking (which prevents you from entering the deep stages of sleep), or a combination of the three. Getting enough sleep your first night back can make a world of difference in your outlook. Go to bed early if possible, and avoid alcohol. Waking up in your own bed instead of an exotic location is much less depressing if it comes after a good night’s rest.

Visiting other places, seeing new and exciting things, do different activities every day, can lead to a sense that your everyday life is dull or tedious in comparison. It’s important to remind yourself of all the good things you enjoy about it – at least until your next trip.


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