There's nothing better than going on vacation and having those feelings of elation, joy, and overwhelming happiness. Vacations have been scientifically proven to boost moods (just like nature-themed vacations have been) which makes perfect sense considering how much of a relief it can sometimes be just to get away.

In stark contrast, the feelings that people experience upon returning are completely less-than. Travelers coming back from a vacation can often feel temporarily depressed, down, and altogether irritable. This is called the post-vacation blues, and it's a legitimate condition - but here's how to avoid it, or deal with it, should it happen.


Related: Here's Everything Travelers Shouldn't Be Doing While On Vacation From Work

Why Do The Post-Vacation Blues Happen?

According to Healthline, employees that were given a total of ten cumulative days off resulted in a 29% drop in depression rates which, in itself, speaks volumes to the nature of theoretically 'unplugging.' Therefore, it also makes sense that when coming back from vacation, many travelers will experience a dip in their moods when coming to terms with returning to 'normalcy.' Healthline also reports that the dip in traveler's moods is attributed to the fact that the happiness one experiences while on vacation is double what it is on a regular basis; therefore, it's the difference in vacation happiness vs. baseline (at-home) happiness that makes us feel so down.

So, it's a bit of give-and-take when it comes to taking a vacation. While mood-boosting happiness is often necessary for a 'reset' of sorts, travelers must also be prepared to return to that baseline mentality. It's not easy and it never feels as nice coming home as it does the first day of the vacation, but travelers will level out - and there are some ways that we can ensure that upon returning.

What To Do Before Going On Vacation

Account For A Transition Day Or Two

One of the best things one can do before taking a vacation is to plan a transition day. What's meant by this is that travelers should take an extra day off after returning just to get back into the swing of things. It wouldn't feel natural to immediately go from one routine to a completely different routine the very next day, so why would it make sense to return from vacation, and then immediately return to work the following morning?

It might make travelers feel as though they're losing out on a day that could be spent lounging on the beach but, in reality, it means having a full 24 hours to relax, unwind, and become re-acquainted with our home surroundings. This extra day also gives travelers time to go grocery shopping, tidy up, or unpack, making everything far less rushed.

Clean The House Before Leaving

It sounds silly but it's worth doing. Coming home to a messy or untidy house won't help anyone, least of all a traveler who's already feeling the blues after coming back from a vacation. Taking the time to clean up the house and organize takes the work out of doing it post-vacation which, let's be honest, isn't exactly a mood-boosting hobby for everyone.

If a traveler's home is tidy and neat when they come home, it creates that much more of a relaxing and serene environment from which to come down in.

What To Do When Returning From Vacation

Plan To Get Together With Family Or Friends

Being social might be the last thing on a traveler's mind when returning from vacation but it's the one thing that will likely pull them out of a funk. Socializing has been proven time and time again to boost moods, and being together with another person helps to ground us.

Additionally, it's nice to share memories with people and tell them all about the adventures that have just transpired - thus releasing even more endorphins! Planning a night out with friends, a lunch date with a family member, or even a game night can really help to stave off that post-vacation depression.

Detox With Some Hydration And Self-Care

Plane cabins have a tendency to dehydrate travelers and while they're on vacation, drinking enough water and eating somewhat healthy aren't exactly the first priorities. Therefore, it's important to remember these things when travelers come home, as much as they might be lacking in the fun department.

It's almost guaranteed that drinking a full glass of water will help a person feel invigorated, and getting a few vegetables in there certainly won't hurt, either. Self-care might also come in the form of unpacking mentally, whether it's doing a journal activity or editing and sharing photos or videos from the vacation to a social media page or photo album.

Next: These Are The Common Mistakes Everyone Needs To Stop Making On Vacation (And How To Avoid Them)