I’ve just come back from the US and, as expected, I felt the holiday blues. However this time I was prepared and mindful of this, and as a result the impact wasn’t as huge as it has been over the years.
Most people will suffer with anxiety and holiday blues after a fun weekend, seasonal holidays or planned vacations away. But what makes our holidays different, or why do we feel more content when away? The common aspects during this time are:
- We are kept busy
- We are socially active with others
- We have that sense of belonging and community
- We are doing things we enjoy
- We worry less about time and money
- The buzz and excitement of the build up as well as the actual days
- We feel happier so we tend to spread and attract the same positive vibes
When all or some of the above comes to an end its usually in sharp contrast, for example yesterday was Sunday fun day, the next day may be Monday work day. One day I was in sunny California then next day I’m in the UK with piles of washing to do. With this contrast comes the daily pressures of money spent, budgets that may have been blown, kids pack lunches need to be ready, the work has piled up, emails need to be returned etc.
The to-do list goes on and the ‘to be list’ is forgotten. What I mean by that, is during the holiday period, the-to be list of being relaxed, happy, fun, spontaneous is replaced with the to do list of jobs.
This is where gratitude, mindfulness, and creating the days ahead of you to be just as enriching is important. Instead of thinking about the weekend or holiday that has passed, wishing you were still there, think about the memories that were created , and the gratitude you feel for that. Wishing you were back on the beach or wanting to turn back the clock will serve no purpose, however, expressing gratitude will allow you to feel empowered in the present moment.
Be mindful and notice any anxieties you may be feeling, and know you can do something about it. Thinking about the emails, piles of washing, or daily routine is only going to cause feeling of anxiousness or a sense of being overwhelmed. Simply know these are tasks to be done, that you’ve done it before, and can easily do it again.
Whilst the days ahead of you may be filled with routine think about what can you add to keep things fun and creative. Can you schedule in a picnic, a movie night, waking up 30mins earlier for a workout, going for a walk in your lunch break, buying a new book….?
When I noticed my holiday blues emerging, I was mindful of its occurrence and then I started to move. I challenged myself to unpacking in half a day including washing and ironing, my reward would be sitting down with a coffee and a book for 30mins. The food shop had to be done so as a family we created menus and lists of ingredients of the new things we had tried on holiday. We have scheduled in a night where we can all watch the holiday movies and photos. As a family we talked about all the reasons the holiday was great but also reasons why it’s awesome to be home too. Talking about routine things as exciting tasks or challenges will make them feel more fun, rather than a chore. Look forward to the coffee you pick up on the way to work, seeing a colleague again, getting your favourite takeaway, being in the home that was once a house.
Creating days that you love and are full of experience, and embracing the chaos and clutter will allow you to feel content day to day and not the constant need to be ‘away from it all’.
I love going away however I always felt ‘I had to get away’ to feel happier. I’ve learnt it doesn’t really matter where you are if your inner self isn’t at peace and content. Now I look forward to going away and creating memories (and yes having some sun), but I am also just as content in creating exciting days at home and inner peace within.
You can make your days as exciting or as routine as you wish, change your self dialogue and how you see the world will also change.