5 Tips to Avoid and Cope With Post-Vacation Fatigue

woman on plane getting luggage, post-vacation fatigue

Photo by picjumbo.com

A much-needed winter vacation is bliss while you’re relaxing in a lounge chair, enjoying some beautiful weather, and sipping a cool beverage.

Unfortunately, all vacations must eventually end and then it’s back to reality.

That anti-climatic return to normalcy hits some of us harder than others, especially if you’ve been away on a longer vacation or an especially enjoyable one. The feeling of sameness of the home life you temporarily left can return all too quickly.

Your inner battery should be nicely recharged after some time away relaxing, but you find that you just can’t shake that feeling of post-vacation fatigue after coming home.

What’s up with that?

Why you’re feeling post-vacation fatigue

Post-vacation fatigue is a common thing, actually. The stress and anxiety associated with it can start before you’re even home, simply by thinking about the prospect of coming home. That was the case for 45% of travellers surveyed for a Wyndham Vacation Rentals study.

Post-vacation fatigue may also be characterized as post-vacation blues or, to a more serious degree, post-vacation depression.

Here are several other reasons you may be feeling drained and struggling to reconnect with life at home after returning from a trip:

  • the prospect of dealing with tasks that weren’t done before travelling feels overwhelming
  • jet lag
  • you’re readjusting to a time zone difference
  • your sleep schedule has been altered while away

How to get back into the swing of things

When you’re trying to get back into the swing of things after coming home from a vacation, there are a few steps you can take before and after travelling to make things easier.

With these five tips, you can avoid experiencing post-vacation fatigue and learn to cope with your post-travel weariness a little better.

1. Tidy up and be proactive before travelling

To facilitate a smooth transition back to normalcy after being away on a trip, try to be as proactive at home before embarking on your travels.

The transition of going from a temporary, carefree vacation lifestyle with far fewer responsibilities (like cooking meals) than you normally have to coming back to a dirty, cluttered home can be jarring and mentally draining.

Simplify things by making sure your home is tidied up and any lingering tasks and chores are completed before going away. Accomplishing this will ensure a relatively “clean slate” when you return home and eliminate one of the main causes of post-vacation fatigue.

This is easier said than done, mind you, considering how vacation getaway day is usually a whirlwind of activity. But do your best to clean, declutter, and generally make your home as welcoming a space as possible for your family to return to.

Make the essential home spaces you’ll use on your first day back (like your kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, living room, and front hallway) a priority. And don’t leave any dirty clothes in your laundry room, as you’ll be guaranteed to have laundry tasks for your family’s dirty vacation clothes.

Take care of other tasks that aren’t housework-related, such as paying bills and answering all work and personal emails so you don’t need to spend any vacation time (or post-vacation time) on them. Don’t forget to activate the out-of-office auto-response function on your work email to inform colleagues and clients that you’re away.

woman standing by bed, post-vacation fatigue

Before going on vacation, try to leave your home clean and tidy to ensure there’s less work to do upon returning.

2. Allow yourself to recover upon returning

One reason people feel post-vacation fatigue is that they push themselves too hard when they’re back home. If someone’s effort to take care of as many home tasks as possible before leaving fell a little short, there can be an overwhelming feeling of “I need to catch up to get back on track”.

And once again, be mindful that you’re going from a relaxed vacation headspace to a more responsibility-driven mindset. Pace yourself and ease your way back into your daily routine.

Try to avoid overloading your family’s schedule with a bunch of post-vacation activities and social engagements.

Some people prefer to have one or more “buffer days” when returning from a trip and going back to work. Stress about catching up on things at work is another contributor to post-vacation fatigue.

Get enough sleep and try to distance yourself from that more leisurely vacation pace you’ve enjoyed the past little while, especially in your first days home.

3. Don’t put off those must-do tasks

While we are recommending easing your way back into your regular routine after travelling, don’t take that too literally.

It’s easy to procrastinate on those must-do tasks that arise after a trip, such as:

  • buying fresh groceries
  • checking your snail mail
  • unpacking suitcases
  • catching up on email replies and returning missed calls and texts
  • laundering vacation clothes
  • catching up on your snow shovelling or yard work

But after a day or two, you should be re-acclimatized to being home and be tackling any new chores.

That’s why it’s so important to take care of things at home before departing on a vacation – you’ll lighten your workload that much more.

clothes in open suitcase, post-vacation fatigue

Try to unpack within a day of returning from a vacation.

4. Get active

Only the most health-conscious of us are able to maintain healthy eating habits while we’re away on holiday.

All of those rich foods, exotic cuisines, and perhaps an adult beverage or two that you enjoyed while away can add a few pounds and affect your body’s metabolism.

That may be another reason you’re feeling some post-vacation fatigue.

If you can muster up the energy to get your blood pumping with some physical activity, you’ll be well on your way to feeling more alive and less lethargic. Any type of workout (even a light 20-30 minute session on the treadmill) will help.

Even keeping active by decluttering a particularly disorganized area of your home is healthy, not to mention practical. Excess clutter is a well-known cause of stress and you’ll feel better after restoring order to a messy space.

5. Start thinking about your next trip

Take a page out of the book of travellers who don’t experience post-vacation fatigue and – quite the opposite – are energized by a recent trip.

There’s no better way to broaden your worldview than experiencing firsthand what a faraway destination has to offer, so start thinking ahead to a future trip. Get some inspiration by organizing your recent vacation photos and reliving some memorable moments.

You don’t have to start booking flight plans just yet, although that’s not uncommon either. According to a survey by Booking.com, on the final day of their current trip, 20% of travellers actually schedule their next vacation.

Having something fun like a vacation to look forward to is a healthy, motivating thing. And the anticipation of a rewarding future trip abroad can also make getting through a difficult time just a little easier to handle.

Make your home easier to keep organized

Is some of your post-vacation fatigue exacerbated by clutter issues resulting from a lack of efficient home organization and storage systems?

Organized Interiors can help you get your home in order and make more space for living – post-vacation and 365 days a year.

Schedule a complimentary in-home design consultation with us today.

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