How to overcome the holiday blues this summer
2nd July 2018
Beat those post holiday blues
Returning back to your daily life after time away on holiday can sometimes feel like a bit of a drag. Though you’ve only been back at work for two or three days, that glorious getaway can feel like it happened months ago. Your tan is already fading and your inbox is filling up fast, with more to-dos added to your workload by the hour.
In this article we’re going to explore the importance of getting away from it all, and how to get back into the rhythm of daily life when you return.
Therapeutic benefits of travel
If you’re yet to book a holiday, that’s great, because there are several things you can consider before you go. Instead of simply choosing your destination based on the more materialistic categories as determined by travel agents, try to tune in to the needs of your psyche and soul. As Alain de Botton suggests, “the outer journey should assist us with the inner one”, and he advocates the use of travel as a form of therapy – in that, it can provide a real-world training ground to help practice overcoming your fears or rounding your character in some new way. For example, taking a long-distance flight for those who suffer from anxiety. You can start with shorter flights and on subsequent trips, build up to longer flights.
Managing great expectations
All too often, people find themselves deflated either during a holiday or on the return journey home. Perhaps the break didn’t live up to some of the expectations that were generated when originally planning the trip. If travelling on your own, you could be made painfully aware of how alone you are – especially if you’re staying at a resort surrounded by seemingly happy couples. And if travelling in a couple, the getaway could mark an important milestone in your relationship – as this is often a time when people propose or make significant commitments, all kinds of tensions can arise on either side.
Which is why we’ve put together a few tips to help you manage expectations and get the most from your time away.
Set expectations for yourself: when managing expectations, focus only on your own expectations. Not everyone you’re travelling with will want to do the same activities as you and it’s good to have a mixture of time on your own and time with your travel companions.
Not everything is under your control: what if you book a holiday to a beach town and it rains every day? Have you packed a couple of books you’d like to read and would you be content exploring the town beneath an umbrella as opposed to lying on the beach as you had planned? Situations like this can be blessings in disguise, as you might meet someone you wouldn’t have otherwise met, or discover new things that excite you. By maintaining an open mindset, the holiday could be better than you expected.
Inner reflection: if travelling on your own, you can use this time to reflect on who you are and what you want out of life. As you brush up against the world around you, contrasts will appear, and you’ll be able to use this time to sharpen up your vision of what you want out of life going forward.
Strengthen your teamwork skills: If you’re travelling with your significant other, travel provides a great opportunity for you to see your partner in new setting and how the two of you create experiences and memories together. Team work skills will help you both make the most of your time – be sure to listen carefully to your partner and don’t forget to speak up about your needs too. A healthy balance between who leads and who follows is also good to explore. Open and honest communication at all times is also a must.
Settling back into daily life
While holidays generally have the effect of providing people with a refreshing change and much needed rest, time away can sometimes bring deeper issues to the surface.
People in romantic partnerships who find themselves in a difficult spot after some time away can benefit from Couples Therapy, where we explore the underlying dynamics that could be causing stagnation or complications.
Regardless of who we’re travelling with, sometimes holidays show us areas within ourselves that require time and attention. When we’re out of our comfort zone and immersed in a new environment, that can be the time when our emotional and psychological needs demand more from us. If you’re interested in increasing your psychological flexibility, some sessions of Acceptance & Commitment Therapy might be suitable for you.
While there are many therapeutic benefits to getting away from it all, it’s important to remember that holidays can also be a time that reveal and uncover unknown and unmet psychological needs. If you require support for the improvement of your mental health, then please do contact us for a confidential chat.