Battling The Blues
You’ve spent a full week on Oak Island, life was slow and easy-going. No alarm clock wake-ups, no stressful “after-work” routines of homework, dinner, bath- and bedtime. For some, there were exciting adventure activities that involved being in nature and spending time with family and friends.
Today you re-enter the world of the concrete jungle. You woke up at the crack of dawn to sleepily get your kids to school (or fed before they start whining), you have mountains of laundry to wash, just looking at the house makes you cringe knowing that cleaning will come soon. And, now it’s time for you to push through traffic on your way to your 8-hour stint in a cubicle.
For many, post-vacation anxiety starts mid-vacation. The dread of returning to the daily routine and stress associated is often enough to discourage people from taking a vacation in the first place. According to Project: Time Off’s 2017 State of American Vacation Report, 43% of those surveyed named “returning to a mountain of work” as the main challenge to taking their vacation days.
A Case Of The Blues
The Blues rear their ugly head in a variety of different ways. There are people who say that Post-Vacation Blues or Post-Travel Depression is nothing more than the shock a person feels when they’re snapping out of vacation mode. In that, it’s not true depression or even a case of the Blues.
Others agree that symptoms such as the ones mentioned below are experienced by travelers during or just after their vacation, and are indicative of an issue.
- Anxiety or excessive worry – The day before leaving Oak Island, you may begin to feel extremely anxious, nervous or worrisome about all of those emails just waiting for you to return.
- Restlessness – As with the apprehension of going on vacation, the same goes for returning. You may stay up all night long agonizing over having to pack up the car and drive all that way home.
- Irritability – We all seem to become a little “testy” when we’re stressed. Quick with our words and fast to act on our emotions.
- Headaches – Some people may exhibit tension headaches that involve “dull pain, tightness, or pressure around your forehead or the back of your neck.”
How To Deal
We came up with a few suggestions on how to battle the Blues during or just after your Oak Island vacation.
- Take a longer vacation. Oftentimes travelers cannot de-stress until they are truly settled meaning you lose the initial portion of your vacation. Anxiety may start a day or two before you step on the beach for the last day of your stay. Either way, taking a two-week vacation could possibly provide a full week’s time for actual relaxation.
- Slowly re-enter daily life. Don’t schedule violin lessons or a big grocery shopping trip on your first day back home. If you’ll be back at work, don’t arrange any appointments or check any of your emails that day. Take baby steps back into your normal routine.
- Practice breathing exercises or mindfulness. Google “breathing exercises to manage stress” or “mindfulness” to find out more on how to adjust your mind’s and body’s reaction to stressful situations.
- Evaluate and incorporate. Take time to reflect on your Oak Island vacation. What made it so special and relaxing? Was it eating out whereas you normally cook every night? Was it zip lining through the swamp that was so exhilarating? Take inventory of what you truly enjoyed and incorporate the same or similar events into your normal routine. Eat out once a week with your family. Coordinate activities and outings like regular neighborhood walks, movie night, an outdoor concert, or even a trip to the museum.
- Treat yourself to another Oak Island vacation. This one is a bit self-explanatory. Giving yourself something to plan and look forward to is always a good thing, but when you’re planning and looking forward to something you’ve already experienced and know to be fun and relaxing – it’s a great thing. It keeps your thoughts and anxiety at bay while you anticipate experiencing that all over again.
No matter the severity of your Post-Oak Island vacation blues, Margaret Rudd & Associates, Inc. can surely help you with at least two of the suggestions mentioned above. Our reservation specialists are available to help plan an extended vacation so you will have more than enough time to relax and unwind before re-entry. So, before you go worrying yourself about the next time you’ll be able to get away – give us a call to place your favorite vacation rental on hold for next year.
“The State of American Vacation 2017.” Project: Time Off, 2017.
“Tension Headaches.” Reviewed by Neil Lava, MD, WebMD, 13 May 2016, www.webmd.com