I’ve just returned from a dreamy 4-day getaway with my love, where we celebrated 3 years of marriage with farm-to-table cuisine, mineral pools, and the most comfortable bed I have ever laid my limbs upon. Our bodies and brains relished in the spaciousness and slower pace of things, which was made evident by the lazy smiles covering our faces nearly the entire time.
On our last day however, I woke up for our final morning of lovers paradise feeling that old familiar twinge of painful longing and nervousness creeping up from my belly into my chest. This was the feeling I used to get every Sunday afternoon. The knowing that the work week was coming and the fun and play of the weekend was over. My sunday sads used to be so bad that I would purposely not plan anything on those days and wallow at home with laundry and netflix, fixating on the coming week.
So, I was a little surprised by those sensations coming back to me that morning.
What the eff, brain? Life is good. I’ve already scheduled in a gentle Monday scheduled tomorrow and I want to enjoy these last bits of vacation I have left. Go away post vacation blues!
Have you ever felt this way at the end of a vacation? That nervous (sometimes nauseating) energy, sadness or frustration as your vacation comes to an end?
It turns out, post-vacation blues is a real thing that manifests very real sickness-inducing symptoms in the human body. And I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way. I was successfully able to zap those blues as soon as I stepped out of the steam room, and am continuing to manage as I slip into this week and back to my regularly scheduled program.
Here are some tips I recommend for overcoming the pesky post-vacation blues:
1. End your vacation with something really fabulous
Instead of making your last day all about packing up, rushing through breakfast and racing to get home, try planning a special activity before you head out. On this trip, we planned spa treatments and pool time after checking out, which felt so much lovelier than dumping our bags in the car only to get home 3 hours earlier. You could plan for a picnic lunch or stopping at a museum on the way to the airport. Doing one little lovely something to book-end your vacation helps extend the feel-good vibes a little longer.
2. Give yourself time to decompress when you return home
Don’t make your first day back challenging and overbooked. As tempting as it is to jump back into the swing of things full force, your body needs some time to re-acclimate. I usually build in an extra day post-vacation to unpack, do laundry, grocery shop, and get clear on what I need to do to get back into my routines.
3. Get good sleep the night you return
When we get good, deep sleep, our bodies launch into repair and rejuvenation mode. So, when you return from a vacation where activities may have been out of the norm for you (food, drink, sleep, temperature, etc), allowing your body to get a little extra sleep before returning to work will help you bounce back easier.
4. Plan something you can look forward to the week after you return
Schedule a dance class, dinner with girlfriends, or date night in the first few days after you return from your vacation. And make sure it’s something you are really looking forward to and won’t seem overwhelming or like a chore. If you find yourself quieter and needing space for reflection, schedule an hour lunch and take a walk outside listening to your favorite music or podcast. The point is, the vacation doesn’t have to end just because you returned home. Extend the joy, sister!
5. Appreciate the life you have now
When we return from a fabulous getaway, it can be tempting to look at our lives and focus on the things we don’t have as opposed to the things we do have. When we arrived home on Sunday, we felt the temptation to yearn for our dream home in wine country or fancy electric sports car or getting turn-down service with mint water every night before we go to bed. But instead, we arrived home to our sweet cuddly kitties, changed the sheets on our beloved bed, and took a moment to appreciate that undeniable, cozy home feeling. There’s nothing like it.
6. Start planning your next trip
This may seem counterintuitive, but studies show that the planning phase of a vacation or adventure has dramatic effects on our happiness. The anticipation and dreaming spikes serotonin levels in your body and helps ease the post vacation let-down. Plus, it’s fun! On our way back on Sunday, Tim and I were talking about spending our 4th anniversary in Iceland.
Honey is such a beautiful gift from nature. Its anti-bacterial, medicinal qualities paired with its delicate sweetness make it a favorite in my household. Plus, I feel such gratitude for the beautiful hard-working (and disappearing) bees when I purchase honey from local beekeepers at the shop in town. I’ve shown you that you can add any variety of herbs to honey to enhance its medicinal properties, and today’s recipe is for a lovely herbal chai. The beauty of making a chai honey is you don’t need to make the tea from scratch. Simply add a spoonful of chai honey to 3/4 water and 1/4 cup milk (raw or almond are my faves), warmed. It makes for an amazing afternoon pick-me-up, and your loved ones will appreciate it as a gift. I gave a jar to my neighbors and they added it to their breakfast rice pudding. It tasted a bit like zesty french toast.
- 2 cups honey (raw, organic, and local if possible)
- 2 tbsp coriander, powdered
- 3 tbsp cinnamon, powdered
- 1 tsp cardamom, powdered
- 1 tsp clove, powdered
- 1 tsp ginger, powdered
- 1 tsp black pepper, powdered
Place honey in a sterilized jar and put jar in a shallow water bath over low heat. Gently heat up the honey until it can easily be stirred. Add in the dry herbs, and mix around until well-combined. Remove the jar from the water bath and let cool. Store in a cool, dark cupboard for 1-2 weeks to allow herbs to infused before eating. Keep tightly sealed. Shelf life is 1 year.
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