The Surprising Lessons Holiday Blues Can Teach You

Fab Giovanetti
Photo by Ashley Ibarra from Pexels

There was a time when seasons were linear, and people knew what to expect: Summer was for holidays, Winter is all about Christmas (and being hopelessly broke).

However, times change. No, I am not going to talk about climate change. Not on this article anyway. I am talking about the holiday blues.

I am not going to sugar-coat it here: coming back to work after any vacation can be dreadful.

Sadness and anxiety begin to creep up on you because during your holidays you have a temporary departure from your responsibilities and obligations.

Why do we get the blues anyways?

When you get back to work, you’re putting more strain on your brain, particularly the prefrontal cortex that controls the emotional responses to stress by regulating the amygdala.

If you’re suddenly faced with an onset of anxiety and sadness at work and you want to find some quick remedies to help at the moment, Dr. Bryan Bruno shares a few tips that can assist you in relieving pressure and releasing feel-good hormones:

“Take some time to play with your pet, or a friend’s pet, to distract you and soothe your mind. There’s a reason people turn to their pets when they’re feeling bad. Playing with animals is relaxing and provides relief from anxiety because they encourage touch and affection, which can release hormones like serotonin and dopamine which make your body feel good.”

What do the blues say about you?

On holiday you may put into the day many fun activities than you would in ‘normal’ routine days, so when you stop doing these things, you start noticing the difference.

“If you crave more adventure in your life, how can you add this to your weeks now rather than waiting for a holiday? If you are miserable in your job, why is this and what needs to change?” shares Deeba from Deeba Anandan, a transformational coach

“I’m a massive believer that we need to take the reigns for shaping a life that we love living and that is what I work with my clients to do. Life is too short only to be happy when you’re on holiday.” — Deeba Anandan

‘Normal’ routine days are usually filled with activities that are necessary such as cooking, cleaning, paying the bills, go to work, school runs and so on, and while all of these activities can give you a sense of achievement, the amount of pleasure you get from them are nothing in comparison to the pleasure and enjoyment you got from your holiday.

Especially when you are busy building your empire, holidays feel like a treat more than a right — if you have had a wonderfully restful time on holiday, going back to a busy work schedule; waking up early every day; looking after the kids, add onto that a huge pile of work to get through looming in the background; it can suddenly all seem very overwhelming.

Ways to get back on track

Having to get back into the routine can be pretty daunting and not forget exhausting, BUT there are few ways you can turn ‘post-holiday blues’ mentality around (yes, it’s all about the mindset).

Prioritising your self-care is also paramour, especially when having to deal with handovers and inboxes.

The biggest mistake we can make is jumping back on the work wagon without taking the appropriate time to get back into our routine.

Life coach Kiran Singh, for example, makes gratitude a priority:

“Plan an activity, coffee, lunch, dinner or drink date with a friend, go to the movies, art gallery — whatever makes your heart sing and happy. Make sure you’ve already done this before you’re off for your holiday or even better, while you are there. I’ll give you an example from my life. My daughter and I went to Norway to visit family during the Summer holidays, although we had a lovely time, there was stress lingering in my mind about all those things I had to do once back, so I planned in ‘Redecorating my Home for Autumn’ on Sunday the 1st of September. I bought some Autumnal decorations (ceramic pumpkins, scented candles, cushion covers in burnt orange and more. This gave me that little something to look forward to once back home in London.”

If you need a different kind of kick, start or continue your exercise routine.

Most of the time, while on holiday, we are racking up the steps trying to soak in all the cultural hot spots of the destination, Compared to a very apparent lack of them in the office. Struggling to stay motivated?

Mays Al-Ali from has a few tips: “Think about doing exercise with someone else a couple of times during the week — not only does this give you company and something to look forward too but it also acts as a lifeline to ensure you stick to your programs. And don’t worry if you can’t make it to a class every day — just pop in your headphones and walk around the block on your lunch break.”

A 30-minute brisk walk will get your heart rate up and release those mood-boosting endorphins your body has got used to on its holidays

Holiday blues may say a lot about you, your lifestyle and priorities. Instead of feeling stressed and demoralised, find ways to make your first day back one full of motivation and excitement.

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