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How To Beat The Post-Holiday Blues

How To Beat The Post-Holiday Blues

post holiday blues

Well, it’s official, 2019 is well underway, folks. For most of us, that means our collective holiday-mode mindset is slipping out of sight and it’s time to get reacquainted with our old friend reality.

When the high of a great holiday and the intoxication of summer seems to simmer down, (heatwave be damned) it can initially feel great. We re-establish routines, catch up with the friends and family we haven’t seen in a while to regale them with all the stories we collected while away. Over time, though, this high can fade, and the startling realisation cements itself into our psyche, that the holiday is over.


Never fear, we’ve assembled a guide of how to deal with the worst part of travel: when it ends. What are the signs you’ve got the blues? How do you deal with them? And how do you ensure you never get them again? 

What are the post-holiday blues? (PHB)

The PHBs are a psychological phenomenon that occur after a period of indulgence, namely a holiday. The return to work and all things real-life can cause stress and sadness – particularly in the beginning part of the year when life can feel a little ambiguous. It can result in a physical manifestation, too. After running on high-octane energy throughout a high-charged holiday, an adrenaline comedown can occur. In other words, a re-appropriation of stress hormones – the chemical changes that can make you feel a little under the weather or depressed.

Why do they happen?

A big contributing factor to the PHBs is known as the contrast effect – where the brain is required to switch between two starkly different experiences (ie, holiday vs reality). Essentially, what it does is make us think our present-day circumstances (say, heading to work on an idle February morning) are far worse than what they actually are. It’s your brain’s way of exaggerating.

How do you deal with them?

The good news is the PHBs aren’t serious and their widespread commonness renders them easily solved. It comes down to a matter of adjusting and managing your expectations and symptoms.

Set yourself goals


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A good technique to combat the PHBs is to set yourself targets to feel good about achieving in the coming year. It could be rock climbing, or playing the ukulele, or finally giving Duolingo a red hot crack. Filling your time with future-oriented positive goals can give purpose and meaning to your time, and who doesn’t like to master a new skill?

Stick to a routine

A very simple yet effective method that can help your physical and mental health resume its normalcy is sticking to a routine. Our holiday selves are a far cry from our normal selves. Everything becomes off kilter and a little out of whack. When you return from your break, begin by adopting a consistent sleep and wake up time every day, and make it a priority to stick to it until you’re back feeling normal.


Treat your body right

It’s easy to lay around feeling sorry for yourself post-vacay, but don’t let the holiday-habits seep into your new reality. Cut back on the booze, walk when you can, exercise regularly, eat a healthy breakfast and do all the other things that make you feel like your best self again. You know what they are!

Book another holiday


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Check out Qantas flights to begin your next adventure.

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