As many of you know I recently returned from holidays. I spent two fabulous weeks on the east coast of Malaysia and in Australia’s Hunter Valley region. I will be posting many jealousy-inducing details about my trip here in the coming weeks but thought I’d dedicate this post to the downside of fabulous vacations – the inevitable return to reality.
Post-holiday blues is actually quite a common condition, a quick google search reveals. And whilst I’m no doctor I am certain of my diagnosis – I’ve got it, and big time. Now I should start off by saying I am well aware that this is not a condition that elicits very much sympathy from others, indeed one should be grateful to have had the time and resources to go on holiday at all – but indulge me just a little.
I returned from Malaysia with a nasty bout of tonsillitis, a niggling chest infection, and a pulled hamstring muscle. So my expectations of returning fresh, rested and ready to take on the rest of the year were already a little dampened. Then there was the fact that amazingly, it is still cold in Melbourne. As in, winter coat cold in the mornings. Then there was that little thing called work that reared its ugly head early on Monday morning. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my job, but just not as much as I love sitting by a pool sipping mojitos.
By the time Monday lunchtime rolled around I was well and truly in a bad mood. I had no food in the house, nothing but 20 loads of dirty washing awaiting my attention and nothing on the horizon to look forward to (you know, except for Christmas, a wedding and a honeymoon but those are AGES away). Moodily, I turned to the internet for inspiration. After ruling out the possibility of moving to Club Med Malaysia as a permanent guest ($100k for a year was just a little too steep) I started looking for other more cost effective remedies.
Many websites cite extended exposure to sunlight and time spent doing only what we want to do as reasons why we feel so well on holidays. The suspension of reality (i.e. no bills to pay, no deadlines to meet) also adds to this feeling of intense freedom. This sensation is intensified when one stays at Club Med, where everything is prepaid and included, and internet/ phone reception is limited – a true getaway.
Suggestions for getting over the post holiday blues included bringing some of your holiday activities into your everyday life. Whilst flying trapeze is a bit out of the question, there’s no reason why I can’t continue to play tennis (albeit badly) once a week. And whilst I might not have a Indian yoga instructor at my disposal for sunrise yoga sessions everyday (nor the time or inclination to practise daily) I can remember most of his class and try to practise by myself on weekend mornings.
Experts in the field also recommend scheduling activities to look forward to in the short term, so tonight we are taking advantage of the unseasonably warm weather and going to a live music venue in St Kilda. And, (though technically I think this might be breaking the rules of holiday rehab) we’ve just booked a weekend in the Yarra Valley full of wineries, good food, tennis, golf and maybe even a massage.
Making any large life-changing decisions immediately after a holiday is apparently not a good idea (it’s like they could read my mind… I guess now isn’t the best time to drop everything and become a yoga instructor – and perhaps I should work on my shoulder stand a bit more), but I think a bunch of small changes will be just what the doctor ordered.
Have you ever suffered from the post-holiday blues? What are your tips?