10 ways to fight post holiday depression
Post holiday depression, or the medical term PHD, and when i say medical term, i mean i just made it up 5 minutes ago.
This is a real thing and has hit me like a ton of bricks since being home. Its hitting reality after being in a somewhat fairytale that was holidays/vacation. Its travelling the world with no commitments except to seek out things that make you happy, then when all that finishes, you go home, you settle back in to the life before you left. Your career, your family, friends, although now, your mind has been opened up to these new wonders of the world, all these new experiences, outlooks, ideas.
Some people take holidays for a break, a break from the monotony of everyday life, then when the holiday is over, they are quite happy to settle back into the normal world again and continue on their trajectory, possibly plan another holiday in a few years time. There are others who come home, and realise that the life they have been living doesn’t even compare to the life they have just have a taste of.
There are many things you can do to combat these blues, and i’ve compiled a list of things that are helping me get through. Here are 10 ways to help combat post-holiday-depression.
1. Keep busy
I called my supervisor the day before i was due back at work, after 3 months off, and explained the current mental situation i was in and explained how i didn’t think it was a good idea to come back to work that week. He spoke to me and spoke me through a couple of things and reassured me we wouldn’t do anything we felt unsafe, and in the end, convinced me to come to work. (surprise surprise lol) But after being back at work, i realised that it was the best thing i could’ve done at the time. Rather than sitting at home wallowing in self pity, i came to work and kept my mind active by diving into work. Doing this kept my mind active and i didn’t have time for negative thoughts.
2. Set goals
Create something to look forward to. This stops you thinking too much about the past and look more into the future. I made plans to focus more on fitness and health, which in the past has failed miserably, but i feel now with future goals in place, this should become easier…hopefully.
I started this website to document my travels, and once i actually got to travelling, i realised i hadn’t even set the website up in an efficient way to document on the go. So once i got back, i’ve tackled all the bugs and revamped the website. I like the new look 🙂 I am also trying to build up the courage to perhaps vlogging, although the idea of this scares the living shit out of me, I HATE being on camera. I enjoy being on the other side. But with the website being a good platform to share my stories and memories, people have often said to me “why aren’t you in any of the pictures”, and i regret that i’m not in more. So, setting goals, tackling them at a good pace.
PHD really hit me hard after 3 months of being away. Reality hit me from all directions when i got home. Friends, family, debt, career, approaching 30 with no future in place. I shut down. I spent days in my room unable to eat or sleep or contact anyone. I took baby steps, but eventually built up the courage to talk to people. Friends. Family. Professionals.This proved to be incredibly soothing and felt good to get everything off my chest. In a weird way, hearing myself in such a down state made me want to dislike the person i’d become and put plans in place to climb out.
4. Get active
Exercise has been proven to increase mood and release stress. I have fit and active friends which helps because i’ve had friends help me put a solid plan in place. One has written a food plan up for me while the other is helping train me.
I haven’t never been pleased with my weight or appearance ever and i think its about time to do something about it.
I’ve yet to do this as I’ve never been a exerciser (is that a thing) and have never been pleased with my weight or appearance but being active, whether gym, or just getting up and out, not only keeps you busy and occupied but makes your body feel better on the inside which creates good feels that resonate out and improve mental health. Recruited leigh to help train me. I’ve let him down several times in the past but like a true friend, he continues to encourage me and push me.
5. Spend time with family and friends
Put effort into your relationships. Take an interest in other peoples lives. Spend time with the people who support you and you enjoy being around. Share your stories. Share memories. Share ideas. Share the experience. This may seem hard to talk about the very thing that is bringing you down, but you need to remember how being in those moments felt and remember that feeling and remember how amazing it felt to travel to new places and share the stories.
I personally LOVE hearing about other peoples stories and experiences. Not only does it give you ideas for future travels but sharing stories with loved ones is such a comforting experience. Be with people who raise you up and this will work to elevate your mood.
6. Learn something new
Dive into new activities. An active mind is a healthy mind. It is always good to learn something new. I personally threw myself into photography and videography. Taking tutorials on youtube about photoshop and final cut pro keep me super busy and occupied so i don’t have much down time. I’ve focused a lot of energy into developing my photo and video skills, as well as my editing and improving my website.
I often have a notepad with me everyday and write down every idea i think of so i can tackle it at a later date. So far at work this week i have written down 6 small video projects, 5 new blog ideas and also reopened my photography course account so i can finish my studies.
7. Watch motivational videos
The internet is full of silly cat videos, pranks and people making fools of themselves after the dentist, but it is also full of inspirational and motivational videos. Don’t get me wrong, funny videos definitely have their place on the internet, but best not to fill your entire viewing up with these. Whilst they can be fun and distracting, they don’t really get you anywhere further in life.
I’ve been watching a few of these inspirational videos lately and most of the time they are just compilation clips from movies and are aimed at being positive and seeing things in a different light. A lot of the videos i have came across are talks and presentations on positivity. I have found several celebrity/internet stars that i now watch religiously as they are always full of positivity and enthusiasm for life. My personal favourite is Casey Neistat. He is a filmmaker from New York City who has a contagious enthusiasm for life and being happy. He daily vlogs his life but is always full of clever outlooks on life and positive vibes.
8. Plan your next holiday
If you loved something so much then it only seems logical to want to do it again. I absolutely loved the freedom of traveling. The getting lost, the meeting new people, the uncertainty of tomorrows adventures. All of this is exhilarating to me. So i jumped straight in to planning my next holiday no sooner than being home a week from my last.
Talk to people, research on the internet, even go into a travel agents if you have to, those are the professionals at finding your perfect holiday destination. I personally love speaking to people and finding out where they have been because you often come across some hidden gems of the world that aren’t over advertised.
Planning your next holiday is all part and parcel with keeping your brain active and it also gives you something exciting to look forward to.
9. Seek professional help
If everything just seems too much to handle and nothing you do seems to work then do not be embarrassed to seek out a professional to talk to. These people aren’t paid ridiculous amounts of money for nothing. They are life savers. They help you help yourself.
I personally have not been to talk to anyone myself, but i can tell you right now i have been seconds away from it. Sometimes it all gets a bit too much and when you have tried everything you can and cant find a way out of the slump, then its best to get an outsiders view on your situation and offer the best advice and tools to help pull you out before you fall too far.
I know people who are regular visitors to therapists and the like, and they have nothing but good that come out of the experience.
10. Don’t give up
Life is always worth living. Everyone experiences low points in life, and if they tell you they don’t then they are lying. Some people manage better than others and some people just have more luck when it comes to downfalls.
It’s these dips in life that help shape us as people and help grow us stronger. Isaac Newton once said “what goes up must come down”. He was referring to gravity, but i believe quite the opposite is true when it comes to life. No matter how far you fall, there is always a way back on top. Find out how to get there and run with it as long as you can.
I hope this post has been helpful to someone in some way. It has definitely helped me to write down some of these ideas i am putting into practice, and helps motivate me further as now it’s on the wide web for the world to see.
Look after yourselves and each other. You’ve only got one life, make sure to live it x