Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Bracing for the blow

My friend is returning from several weeks' holiday in Europe tomorrow and I'm feeling the pressure.

You see I'm in charge of finding ways for her to soften the inevitable blow that is a return to normality, routine and work after a holiday.

I know the feeling well.  After what can feel like a magical time of freedom, fun and frivolity, arriving home you can feel the cold chill of reality.  There's work to be finished, chores to be done and bills to be paid.

"OMG I'm back!"
It's also a time when you realise you're as far away from your next holiday as you'll ever be.

I've never been that good at starving off the inevitable post-holiday blues.  In fact, it seems the most successful strategy is to try and forget you ever had a holiday at all.   This is a depressing turn of events in itself.

But I'm determined to find some strategies to ward of post-holiday depression.   Here's what I've come up with, do you have any to add?

1.  Treat yourself when you get home
What sets holidays apart from the rest of the year is that when we're on a break we tend to unleash and enjoy life.  When we get back home it's like heading back to the no-fun convent.  Little things like going to a massage, movie, concert or other activity might help you feel as though there's still fun to be had... even if you're back home.

"You're back home now.  The fun must stop"

2.  Think of it as an extended laundry pitstop
It sounds strange but one of the few things I miss on holidays is being able to wash my clothes properly without hassle or expense.  I love the feeling of emptying the contents of my bag into the washing machine and letting it rip.  I'd like to think the time at home in between holidays is just a long (and sometimes it's very long) laundry pitstop before it's time to head off again.
"We're just waiting for our clothes to dry and then we're off"

3.  Schedule in some retail therapy
I like to plan to buy a few treats when I go home, rather than reserve shopping solely for when I'm on holidays.  Whether it's new running shoes, aftershave, a DVD or something else, it's nice to have something to look forward to. Sometimes I order the treat online while I"m away so it's there waiting for me on my return.  Hello happiness.

4.  Spruce up your home
You're back for a while so you may as well try and make your home as cosy as possible.  Maybe you picked up a home decorating idea while travelling, need to frame some photographs or have to work out what to do with that strange souvenir you bought.  For me this period invariably involves a trip to IKEA for some Scandinavian delight.

5.  Plan the next holiday
I find it very hard to be motivated without some form of holiday on the horizon.  In fact I find it hard to get out of bed at all.   Use the time it takes to travel home to start scheming about the next holiday.  Whether it's weeks or months away, it will be a beacon of hope.
Planning the next holiday shines a light on the horizon

6.  Don't fight it / go easy on yourself
You know what.  Sometimes you just need to accept that it's just going to be crap to be back.  You're going to feel as though you're jumping on the treadmill again and the treadmill is already at full speed It's going to suck but it will get better.  It always does.  Go easy on yourself, try not to dwell on how much you're hating being back, and give yourself time to adjust and recover from jetlag.

Buddha says "go easy on yourself after a holiday" (this may not be a direct quote)

What else works for you?

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