Published On: October 27, 2022
Reviewed On: October 27, 2022
Updated On: November 16, 2023
We have all probably experienced the dread and anxiety that accompanies a return to “normal life” after a great vacation doing something that really fuels our souls. Going on vacation or taking a break from work can be a great escape from your everyday routine, so it’s common to have those sad, unmotivated, or anxious feelings when you go back to work, school, or your normal responsibilities. This is commonly known as post-vacation blues or post-vacation depression. For many of us, the extreme transition can be difficult and we often find ourselves stuck with future angst rather than reflecting on positive memories or enjoying the here and now.
Unfortunately, many people believe that post-holiday blues are uncontrollable or to be expected. The good news is that with some healthy coping skills, depression after vacation can be managed and we can get ourselves to a more optimistic viewpoint. First, it’s important to know what symptoms of depression after vacation can look like, so you can better recognize when those coping skills are needed.
Read on to learn more about post-vacation depression and how you can overcome it.
There’s more to depression than extreme sadness, and some depression symptoms might not be that obvious. With post-vacation depression, the symptoms can often be attributed to simply a lack of motivation after you travel. However, there are other depressive symptoms that you might not be aware of. Here are a few of them:
Post-vacation depression can stem from a variety of factors, and understanding its root causes is an essential step in managing it effectively. It’s important to recognize that depression after vacation is not uncommon and can be a natural response to the significant shift from relaxation and enjoyment back to daily responsibilities. Here are some common causes to consider:
Understanding these potential causes can help you navigate post-vacation depression more effectively. Remember that it’s a common experience, and with the right strategies and support, you can ease the transition and focus on the positive aspects of your life.
Healthy habits are much harder to create than they are to keep. Creating new habits is challenging because these new habits have to resonate for them to gain momentum and can quickly fall flat if they are not met with positive reinforcement. That’s why it’s so important to dabble with a few different healthy habits to see what works for us and makes it into our daily routine.
These tips from our therapists about post-vacation habits can help you keep post-vacation depression at bay.
Since there are so many people that struggle adjusting after a vacation you can rest easy knowing you’re not alone and there are ways to manage feelings of depression and anxiety. That said, not all coping mechanisms are created equal. Focus on avoiding behaviors that only temporarily alleviate depression, since they can lead to an escalation of symptoms down the line. Instead, focus on creating functional habits that can be positively reinforced and maintained in your daily routine.
Regaining control can be achieved in a variety of different ways, but we have to work hard to center our efforts around our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors rather than other people, places, or things. We don’t have much power over external items (triggers and stressors around us), but shifting our energy to an internal focus gives us the highest chance for success.
Most importantly, know that you can always access professional help if you are finding yourself paralyzed by negative coping mechanisms or if you are struggling to find ways to positively and successfully manage your post-vacation depression.
The good news is that getting access to professional therapy while traveling has never been easier as a result of a new Talkspace partnership with Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants. Beginning this February 2022, Kimpton will be rolling out mental health services to 4,000+ employees across the country and offering a discount on the first month of a Talkspace plan to all of its guests.
Kimpton will also be providing 1,000 free therapy sessions to guests — to be redeemed on a first come basis. The Kimpton x Talkspace partnership is the first of its kind to bring meaningful and accessible mental health support to hospitality employees, who have been front line workers throughout the pandemic, as well as to travelers managing everyday stresses on the road.
Meaghan Rice is a mental health consultant specializing in professionals who are looking to close the gap between where they are and where they envision themselves being. With a decade of experience in the mental health field, working in a variety of different capacities, Dr. Rice has found her niche amidst the therapist, consultant, and trainer roles.