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How Can You Beat Post-Holiday Blues?



Did that really happen?

I've been back from my picture perfect break to the Algarve for three weeks now and it feels like we never went! Don't you just hate that? Regular readers among you will have seen my pre-holiday blog "Do Holidays Affect your Happiness" which in a nutshell said the anticipation of your holiday makes you happier than the holiday itself – there's loads more to it than that, so do read it if you haven't already.

My irrational fear of flying means that whilst I'm excited and can't wait to get away from the moment a holiday is booked, the closer the departure date gets the more nervous and less inclined I am to actually go away. In fact, this time I was actually quite good on the flight - possibly something to do with the enormous glass of wine I had at 4.30am whilst waiting to board, but also down to the fact that I remembered a blog I'd written about smiling convincing your brain that you feel happy, so I was manically smiling like a loon throughout (ok, that might also have had something to do with the wine!) - let's not talk about my mood the day before we flew... as I said, we had a picture perfect holiday, the hotel was great, the food was delicious and the resort was a beautiful old fishing town. We really relaxed and enjoyed spending time as a family. Wonderful.

However, the day we got back we realised my work laptop had come off worse in an altercation with my 4 year old son and his orange squash and was as dead as the proverbial Dodo, which led to a week of trying to salvage data and attempting to work alternately on a Mac (what is it with Apple that they have to make everything so different?) that didn't have Microsoft Office on it, and a very old desktop that kept crashing on me. Stressed just didn't cover it!

One minute you're lying on the beach, the sun on your face, thinking about nothing more taxing than what you'll choose from the buffet at dinner; the next you're back home facing a mountain of dirty washing, a cat that's not talking to you, a million spam emails and nothing much to look forward to. In fact, in 2010, the journal of Applied Research in Quality of Life published a study where researchers in the Netherlands found most people were not happier after a holiday.

So this got me thinking, how could I try to recapture that holiday glow?

Ways to build resilience to beat those blues

Here are my favourite tips:

• Unpack as soon as you can. There's nothing more depressing than rummaging through suitcases to find bits you need but haven't unpacked yet, or tripping over them until they're put away.

• Spend as much time outside as possible. One of the reasons we feel so great on holiday is because we spend lots more time in natural daylight rather than shut away indoors. You can't spend your days at the beach once you're home but you can still escape every day for a walk, or to have lunch in the sun (hopefully!).

• Grab some time for yourself. Family holidays usually involve lots of compromise, so reclaim a bit of "me time". Do something you've missed; meet up with friends, catch up on your favourite TV shows, or just soak in the bath.

• If you've been eating fab fresh food with lots of fruit and vegetables, keep it up at home.

• You can't do much about your commute, or that really annoying colleague but you can promise yourself you won't fall into a rut. Try one new thing every day, whether it's having herbal tea instead of coffee, a different route to work, or reading instead of watching TV. As they say, a change is as good as a holiday.

And if none of that works? You can always book another holiday to give you something to look forward to! Smile

Building resilience


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