We dream of holidays all year round, but when they finally arrive they always last too short. Post-vacation blues – defined also post-holiday blues or post-travel depression (PTD) – is a type of mood that persons may often suffer returning home or to a normal routine from a long vacation. It is a condition of psychological malaise which may result in headache, tiredness, sleepiness, dizziness and irritability.
In general, post-vacation blues will wear off over time. However, there are some small tricks to overcome the strong feelings of nostalgia for the past summer:
1.Take it easy! Do not dive back into the frenzy of activities, but take a few days to settle down. It is important to always be able to carve out a moment of the day for yourself and take advantage of the weekend to relax or go on a trip out of town, prolonging the holiday feeling.
2. Workout: a cure-all for body and mood. Exercise, in fact, stimulates the production of endorphins, chemicals substances produced by the brain and allies of good mood. Enjoying the warmth of late summer taking a walk in good company, can be a pleasant and useful exercise.
3. Normal sleep–wake cycle: on vacation the rhythm of sleep is not always regular, once back it is good to try to always sleep 7-8 hours a night. Sleeping well, in the right conditions and at the right time – turning off electronic devices at least 30 minutes before going to bed, not getting heavy at dinner and not consuming exciting drinks – brings countless benefits to our body. Studies have proved that sleeping at least 8 hours a night – besides being a real cure-all for the skin – reduces the risk of suffering from depression.
4. Take care of your diet: don’t start immediately with strict diets – even if during the holidays you (deservedly!) indulged in delicious and caloric meals –, but follow a diet without excesses, reducing the consumption of caffeine and alcohol, too.
Some foods are allies of good mood, such as those rich in tryptophan, an amino acid essential for human body and important for the synthesis of some biological substances, such as serotonin, also known as the happy hormone. It can be found in green leafy vegetables, legumes, dairy products, eggs and some dried fruits (such as peanuts). Other enemies of negativity and bad mood are also omega 3, which can be found in fish, and folic acid, present in some fruits (such as oranges, strawberries and dried fruit), legumes and green vegetables.
5. Stay hydrated! The human body is 75% water, and there are proved associations between hydration and cognitive performance. Drinking water (at least 7-8 glasses per day) has beneficial effects on concentration, memory, mood and fatigue.
Strengthening your energy, proceeding at your normal pace and following a healthy lifestyle are golden rules in order not to run into negativity and fatigue. Good habits to keep throughout the year, or – at least – until the next vacation!