Many people can only dream of leaving their busy life even for a couple of days just to go on a long trip. They dream of traveling since this is a great way to relieve stress, create wonderful memories, and boost one’s mental health. You get to meet new people from all walks of life and experience new things you may not experience in everyday life. Once you do get the chance to travel even for a short while, there are times when you will start dreading the time when you now need to go back home.
Defining Post-travel Depression
Post-travel blues is a kind of depression wherein an overwhelming feeling of helplessness or sadness surrounds you after returning from your trip. You can end up hating everything that you are already used to before, like your home, work, and even your daily activities and the people back home. Since you will need to go back to your stressful, tiring, and repetitive life after a fun and memorable trip, it can impact your mood and your health.
Post-travel depression is indeed real. Some people who experience this say they have trouble sleeping but the effect is longer than a usual jet lag. Others experience sudden appetite changes while some feel they no longer fit in. Others are constantly sad or in a bad mood or feel anxious or upset most of the time. Some constantly compare the culture abroad and only has negative things to say about the culture back home.
How to Combat Post-travel Blues
The good news is there are some ways that can help you fight depression that arises after traveling. For one, you can do this by reminding yourself of the great things that are waiting for you back home. This can be going home to the house you worked so hard for to be able to buy and decorate. It can be because you can finally enjoy that Osaki massage chair you recently gifted yourself on your last birthday. It can be your family and friends who are waiting for your arrival. This can also be that favorite coffee shop around the corner that houses your favorite coffee and pastries.
You can also practice whatever you learned from your trip and apply it back home. For instance, you learned a new language from your recent trip abroad. Why not read books or watch movies local to your host country? If you loved a local cuisine or two, why not challenge yourself to make it yourself or learn more recipes during your free time? You can also share your experiences abroad with your family and friends, teaching them what you learn and what you loved about the trip.
Another way to fight post-travel blues is by planning your next travel. It may seem that doing this too soon will only make you miss your host country more. But in reality, it can boost your mental health. According to a study, the anticipation people have in planning a trip can increase one’s happiness level. You get to have something to look forward to and will motivate you to do whatever it takes just to make sure you get yourself ready for the trip.
This only goes to show that post-travel blues are real and can be a problem if one fails to deal with it the right way. Luckily, there are simple ways to prevent this from having a negative impact on your life. What you can do is to remind yourself of the positive things home has to offer. Remember what you learned abroad and out it to good use. Lastly, don’t hesitate to start planning your next trip so you will have something to plan and look forward to.