Have you ever felt deep sadness after returning from a trip? It’s possible you were experiencing post-travel depression. Post-travel depression, also known as post-vacation blues, is an experience that many travelers share. I’ve experienced it. Returning home from an epic adventure can be bittersweet. Going from the excitement and thrill of traveling to the humdrum routine of everyday life can be a total bummer. Once the fun and excitement of the journey and the high comes to an end, it’s common to feel sad or empty when it’s over. But, fear not! There are ways to combat the post-travel blues.
What is Post-Travel Depression?
Post-travel depression is a type of emotional low that can occur after returning from a trip or vacation. It can feel like a sense of sadness or longing for the experiences and sense of adventure that were felt while traveling.
Some Causes of Post-Travel Depression:
Post-travel depression can be caused by a variety of reasons. A few reasons are boredom, feelings of guilt for missing out on spending time with friends and family and returning to an unfulfilling job or home situation. No matter what has triggered your post-travel depression, it is important to recognize the signs of it and take steps to manage it.
Symptoms of Post-Travel Depression:
- Feelings of sadness and/or loneliness
- Feeling exhausted and overwhelmed
- A sense of longing
- Feeling irritable or easily frustrated
- Feelings of boredom and/or unfulfillment with everyday life
- Difficulty concentrating
- Lack of energy or motivation
- A lack of appetite or overeating
- Insomnia or oversleeping
- Feeling disconnected from friends and family
- Inability to focus on the present due to thoughts of planning the next trip
How To Combat The Post-Travel Blues
As I’ve pointed out before, these feelings are natural and, there are steps to manage them in healthy ways. Also, be mindful that perspective is important and is a good reminder of how lucky we are to be able to travel in the first place. Here are some ways to cope with post-travel depression:
Talk about your feelings with a loved one
Talking with close friends or family members can be very helpful in managing post-travel depression. They can offer advice and support while also encouraging healthy behaviors to keep yourself happy. Sharing what you feel with someone who can understand and empathize with you can help you release negative feelings and offer a different perspective.
Take time to connect with family and friends
After being away for a long while, spending quality time with loved ones can help you reconnect with them and feel more grounded. Try going out for some coffee or a night on the town to rekindle your relationships.
Set realistic expectations for yourself
Set realistic expectations for yourself and give yourself time to get adjusted. Make sure your goals for yourself are achievable and take things slowly.
Seek out new experiences
Try doing something new like trying a new hobby or visiting a new city. Trying new things can shift your focus from the past to the present and help you stay engaged and excited about life.
Participate in fulfilling activities
Engaging in activities that bring you joy is a great way to bring about feelings of happiness and fulfillment.
Keep in contact with people you met during your travels
Create a sense of community and belonging by keeping in touch with people you’ve met while traveling. Social media is the easiest way to do this. You can share experiences and stay updated on each other’s lives. You can also plan future trips together.
Take some time to reflect
Looking back on your trip can also help ease those feelings of sadness. Go through your cellphone, pictures, and journal, and relive the magical moments you experienced. You can even create a scrapbook or photo album to hold onto those memories forever.
Seek professional help
If your feelings become too intense, or you find it hard to cope, don’t be afraid to seek professional help. A therapist or counselor can provide support, guidance, and strategies for coping if your post-travel depression becomes severe.
Plan another trip
Develop a sense of purpose by planning another trip. Planning another trip is a great way to get yourself motivated. It will give you something to look forward to. Knowing that there’s a trip on the horizon can provide a sense of excitement and anticipation.
Remember, post-travel depression is a common feeling, but it doesn’t have to take over your life. Use these strategies and beat those post-travel blues in no time.
Have you ever experienced post-travel depression? What did you do to combat it?