You know the drill—you spend the whole year gearing up for an epic trip, intending to spend some serious time relaxing, rebooting and savouring the freedom that your OOO is affording you. You seriously dedicate yourself to relaxing by the pool reading trashy chick lit (or some self-development gems, if you’ve got the brain capacity) or immersing yourself in a new culture and sampling all of the cuisines on offer. You head home, intending to run off the high vibes of your holiday for a fair while—after all, a vacay well spent brings a few months of content, right?! Despite your best efforts, however—you feel like you need another holiday to recover from your holiday upon your return. Here’s why, and what you can do to prevent it.
Ultimately, the answer lies in human nature. When we have a routine, we spend way less mental energy trying to figure out what to do—instead, we simply follow the usual actions of our routine. But when we lose that routine, despite feeling excited and eager to experience new things; it inevitably leads to a real drain on energy. Having to research where to go, where to eat, what to do and how to “make the most” of a destination puts pressure on your cognitive capacity that isn’t usually experienced in the day-to-day. Makes sense, right?
Of course, we’ve got 99 problems and social media is to blame for a lot of them. The pressure that a lot of people put on themselves to not only have the perfect holiday but also to document it, results in a sometimes overwhelming sense of burnout.
Not only does it require a seemingly constant attachment to your phone and by extension—everything you wanted a reprieve from whilst on holiday—it also can lead to people trying to pack way too much into a trip and over-committing themselves in a big way. While of course, we go on holiday in order to try new things and experience new cultures, in today’s always-connected era, it’s easy to forget that the fundamental point of a holiday is to relax and unwind—definitely not to feel overwhelmed.
If you’ve travelled to the other side of the world and can’t afford to take a week off to re-acclimate to your timezone (‘cause who can?!), you can, of course, expect to feel slightly tired. However, incorporating some of these tips into your next round of travel plans should help to ease the impact of your return.
While, of course, you want to maximise your holiday time, it won’t remotely serve you to land at 8pm on Sunday night when you have to be at your desk at 9am the next morning. Take at least a day to sort your sh*t out when you land—put some washing on, do some grocery shopping and just take the day to re-acclimate to your space. Your energy levels, as you throw yourself back into work, will seriously thank you.
Yes, this means steering clear of the slightly cheaper flights that see you up at 3am and landing at 1am in the morning. If you’re trying to prevent an overwhelming feeling of burnout by the end of your vacay, selecting more convenient flight times will help.
We know you want to see everything while you’re away, but setting a pace that you’re truly comfortable with and following that is super important. Listen to what your body and mind are really asking for—‘cause we’re willing to bet it isn’t ten days of back-to-back activities, excursions and sightseeing experiences. Prioritising sleep and rest while you’re on holiday doesn’t make it a waste—in fact, it’s exactly what vacations are meant for.
We’re not saying you can’t Instagram any of your travels, but make sure you’re not putting your grid over your own needs. Making your main goal getting content for the ‘gram isn’t going to make you feel relaxed or reset at all, whereas a digital detox for at least some of your trip could be just what you need.