That moment when you return home from your holidays and find yourself overwhelmed by simple, small tasks, and underwhelmed by your everyday life that you left behind.
That, my friend, is called post-travel depression, or the post-holiday blues.
Dr. Gerhard Strauss-Blasche from the University of Vienna’s Department of Physiology identifies the post-travel depression as a result of the “contrast effect.” Meaning, holiday-goers who experience a short period of little to no stress have a much stronger reaction to it when they return home. Simple, remedial tasks like emptying your suitcase or doing laundry can bring on a strong sense of sadness and longing for your next holiday.
The solution? Be as planned and organized around your return as possible, which may include taking an extra day to acclimatize yourself back to ordinary life. For the first two years I lived in London, I would walk off the red-eye flight and go straight to the office. My rationale at the time was I didn’t want to waste any holiday fluffing about at home. But the experience killed me. Nowadays, I take a full day to recover, unpack, do laundry, etc.
But no matter how well prepared I am, I can never shake the post-holiday blues when it comes to leaving cottage. There is just no where else in the world like it, and I won’t be seeing it again until next summer. Sad faces all around.