Six ways to beat the post-holiday blues

A few tips to help you beat the miserable feeling that comes with arriving home

Marcus Webb – Virgin Money Living Mentor

by Marcus Webb | Independent Money Mentor

Editor of Delayed Gratification and independent journalist


Don’t let the sun go down on your serotonin levels when you get back from your hols – from being a tourist in your own town to booking your next trip, here are the best ways to beat the post-holiday blues.

Realise you’re not alone

Are you feeling a bit low after your big trip? Of course you are! There’s bound to be a comedown when you end a fling with freedom and adventure to return to the humdrum routine of everyday reality. Don’t despair – what you’re going through is perfectly natural.

Be a tourist in your own town

Here’s a fun game to play. Imagine you’ve got guests visiting you from a faraway land. They’re super excited about temporarily swapping their dreary lives for a taste of your exotic locale. Make your imaginary guests a list of nearby attractions – the best restaurants and bars, the most beautiful spots and the really fascinating historical sites. Now go to the places on your list, pretending you’re on holiday. Sure, your hometown might not be big on palm-fringed tropical islands, but it’ll have its own unique charms – and it’s helpful to occasionally remind yourself of them.

Anticipate jet-lag

The post-holiday blues aren’t merely a state of mind. Your circadian rhythm may be seriously out of whack, especially if you’ve flown through several time zones. There’s no shortage of far-fetched remedies for jet-lag from the quacks of the internet – but one of the two dead-cert jet-lag diminishers is to gradually adjust your sleep schedule to be in line with your destination in the days before travel. The other guaranteed helper is even more tedious – get off the booze for a few days, and skip those tempting mid-air drinks.

Recreate your holiday food

Most attempts to recreate your holiday at home will end in failure or embarrassment. Despite what Crowded House told you in the mid-80s, you can’t take the weather with you – and only the most open-minded of bosses will tolerate hammocks, straw hats and piña coladas in a busy open-plan office. But you can ask friendly waiting staff for recipes while you’re away, pick up some local herbs or spices and reproduce your favourite holiday dishes when you get home. There’s a strong link between taste and memory – and you’ll be plonked right back into paradise at the very first bite.

Make a slideshow

Don’t get us wrong, sitting through hundreds of snaps of someone else’s holiday can be painfully dull: here’s Uncle Pat sitting on the beach, here’s Uncle Pat squinting slightly due to the sun, here’s Uncle Pat putting his sunglasses on… But looking at your own holiday photos helps you reconnect with happy times. Just don’t overdo it – nostalgia, like all powerful forces, works best in moderation.

Book another holiday

This feels like cheating. But as soon as you book another holiday you can begin planning for it – and planning for a holiday means replacing the post-holiday blues with the pre-holiday buzz. This tip works like a dream. Until you’ve run out of annual leave and money, that is.

Before making financial decisions always do research, or talk to a financial adviser. Views are those of our mentors and customers and do not constitute financial advice.