I just got home from a trip to Nassau – a place that consistently lifts me from lulls of routine to cloud nine. But, between mine and my husband’s mood swings, this trip wasn’t quite as magical as expected.
We had a fabulous dinner at Baha Mar, flew our little drone around Paradise Island and soaked in the sun on Love Beach. But, by the second day, the perfect weather and view of Bahama blues from our AirBnB window had him contemplating the parts of his professional life that he was unhappy with. As soon as his mood dropped, mine followed suit.
Why hadn’t we figured out how to work remotely? Why did both of us, as marketing directors for successful companies in Dallas, feel so unsuccessful? And why, for the love, could we not figure out how to be endlessly grateful for the opportunity to travel to such a beautiful locale on a somewhat regular basis?
I know we’re not alone in feeling the travel blues. Despite the way it looks on Instagram, influencers and ordinary people do NOT travel and live lavishly every hour of every week. Maybe there are a few exceptions, but let’s be realistic.
So, I’m writing this to explore the ways we can mitigate that post-travel depression so many of us experience. Here are some of the ways I’ll be changing my post-travel routine so I can feel content with the (pretty awesome) life I have between trips.
Plan something to look forward to after your trip
One of the best ways to keep your mood in check is to spend time with people you love (and who make you laugh) or do something else you enjoy. For us, that means planning a dinner date with our “neighbors for lyfe” who now live 10 minutes away, going to a concert in Dallas, golfing (for my husband) or grabbing drinks with my best friend, Meredith.
Clean Up Your Space
For me, the worst part about coming home is cleaning up the mess made beforehand and catching up with post-trip laundry. It’s a good idea to allocate some time to cleaning up immediately after you return. No, it’s not fun, but getting your space in order is a great way to declutter your mind! Plus, no one wants to see their luggage laying around for weeks, reminding them that they could be on a beach somewhere instead of working or studying for mid-terms.
Treat Your Self!
Another fabulous way to lift your spirits is to give yourself a “mini-vacay” or two. That could mean scheduling a 60-minute facial or massage, getting a pedicure or visiting the Dry Bar for a fresh blow out. It’s also smart to budget for these indulgences before your trip so you’re not stressed out about all the money you spent while you were gone.
I bought my favorite Boscia charcoal mask for a mini-indulgence at home the day after our trip.
I’m so guilty of coming home after a trip and transforming into a freaking sweet potato (aka, someone who dramatically lays around the house, neglecting my responsibilities while eating far too many snacks). Take the time to schedule your workouts ahead of time. Use your gym’s app, ClassPass, or the calendar in your phone to carve out time for your next visit to the yoga studio (or wherever you like to get active).
Budget for Life, Not Just Trips
One of my constant areas of struggle is planning ahead and adhering to a budget. I’m guilty of saying something like, “I have $400 to blow on vacation,” while neglecting to plan how much money I’ll have after the trip for the expenses of daily life (such as eating a decent lunch, restocking my contact supply and taking our golden retriever in for his bi-annual vet visit). Be sure you plan ahead for the week or two after vacation, while you’re reacclimating to your routine. That way, you don’t feel blah about being home AND having no money.
Make a List of Things in Your Life You Appreciate
I know this sounds so cheesy, but even creating a mental list of things you appreciate can help improve your mood. For me, it’s my family and the fact that I can see them with a short two-hour drive, our hilarious pup, my SUV (we have a weird love affair), my very flexible job and my hubs, who is typically very kind and understanding of post-travel sadness.
Tell Me How You Handle Post-Travel Depression!
Do you struggle with post-travel depression? If you do, drop me a comment and tell me how you manage to get yourself together after a trip. I’m always looking for advice on how to live even better!
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