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Bridge to Health Blog
Bridge to Health Blog

Post-Holiday Blues - The Transition back to Daily Life

Written by Deborah Kerr   Posted in:Counselling / Psychotherapy   September 9, 2016

Post-Holiday Blues - The Transition back to Daily Life
We all know that taking a holiday is important for optimal health and that you return refreshed and more able to manage your role and responsibilities both at home and at work. After taking a holiday, you are less tense and stressed, and are more likely to be in a good mood and have higher energy levels on your return.

However, the transition into routine for work or daily life can for some be a source of distress, discomfort and disorientation. We call this post-travel depression.  Don’t despair, your holiday blues won’t last until your next holiday, it’s most often a period of time to adjust to your day-to-day routine.

Your first few days back from a break is about re-adjusting and acclimatising to your regular routine so don’t beat yourself up if you don’t manage your ‘to-do list’ on your first day back; you’re not procrastinating! Try not to set unreasonable expectations for yourself. Here are some tips to help with the transition:
  • Adjust your sleep patterns in advance particularly if you’ve travelled across time zones. Jet lag can intensify the post-holiday blues.
  • Return home early enough to give yourself a day or two to acclimatise – that might mean returning on a Friday or that you return to work mid-week.
  • Give yourself time to talk through your holiday with friends and family members. Sharing experiences and photos helps you process and integrate your experiences.
  • When you do return to work, slide back in slowly. Don’t attempt to answer all your emails immediately and do not plan any meetings on your first day back.  
  • Consider returning to work on Tuesday and skip the hectic nature of Monday. Returning to work with 4 day week ahead can help lessen the intensity to meet demands.   
  • Incorporate a leisure activity into your week such as an evening out or a dinner party at the weekend. And plan your next break even if it’s a short one! It helps looking forward to taking time out again.
  • Remember, actively plan your return. Your first few days back should be easy. Before you leave for a holiday make sure the house is left tidy and basic chores are done. Plan your first day at work to be an easy one, perhaps plan a lunch and give yourself time to reconnect with your colleagues. 

Don’t forget your pets! Cats and dogs are very sociable animals and they too can struggle with adjustment when family members return from a break or return to work and school. Pets may feel restless and anxious and animal experts say that leaving a radio on or items of clothing around with your scent can help keep help minimise their distress.

If you are finding it especially hard to motivate yourself after the summer break, why not give Deborah a call on 07870 127650 or email her deborah@bridgetohealth.co.uk or visit her website www.deborahkerrcounselling.co.uk/

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