You get home from an amazing trip, and suddenly, you're hit with the realization that the vacation is over—and now dreadful thoughts of getting back to your regular life started to sink in.
Getting back into your usual routine after vacations or retreats isn’t always fun and easy. You're so focused on having fun and enjoying the break from your “real-life” responsibilities. Yeah, sure. You could wait it out, embrace sluggishness, refuse to unpack, ignore your inbox, and neglect sleep, but procrastinating won’t make you feel any better.
So here are six healthy ways to help you settle in, bounce back and start embracing your day-to-day routine.
1. Make the Most of the Sunlight
One of the reasons why people suffer from post-vacation blues (or what others call January Blues) is the lack of daylight. Not getting enough sunlight reduces our happiness and makes us feel gloomy.
Mr. Sun is our natural source of vitamin D and sunlight, which help regulate our circadian rhythm, improve our sleep, and boost our mood. Exposure to natural light also increases the level of serotonin (happy hormones) in the brain, which helps you feel better, calm, and focused.
So, get up and stroll at a nearby park or go for a quick morning jog. The sunlight will keep you warm and help you feel better and energized!
2. Eat Properly (But don’t restrict yourself too much!)
The end of vacation can sometimes spell the beginning of gut issues for some of us. Splurging on meals is typical during the holiday season, often leading to stomachache, gas, and bloating. Time differences can also contribute to this problem, disrupting our regular bowel movement routine. Jet lag or a new time zone shifts this schedule ahead or backward by a few hours, causing constipation.
Balance your craving for carbohydrates with plenty of fresh fruits and veggies but don’t restrict too much. Doing so may leave you feeling deprived and even more frustrated instead of satisfied. Try your best to get back to your usual diet routine as soon as possible. A healthy and balanced diet boosts your mood and gives you more energy.
RELATED: 6 Holiday Gut Health Tips
3. Hydrate (Traveling Is Dehydrating!)
Yes, you’ve read it right! Traveling (especially flying) can leave us dehydrated. It disrupts our daily routines, so we end up not drinking as much water as we’d normally do (some of us don’t even drink enough water at home, let alone on travel days.)
Drinking plenty of water when you get home is proven to help replenish lost fluids but may not be enough to restore electrolyte balance in the body. Electrolyte imbalance is one of the reasons why some would often experience muscle cramps during or after a flight. It’s also to blame for dry, flaky skin and chapped lips.
Aside from the visible side effects of travel dehydration, experts have also linked electrolyte deficiency to anxiety and depression — two of the most common dilemmas of a person experiencing post-vacation blues.
We can get electrolytes through food; however, most people find it easier and more convenient to take an electrolyte drink. Traditional sports drinks may do the trick, but they’re usually full of sugar and empty calories, so it’s best to opt for a natural, sugar-free supplement such as Root’d. It’s your all-in-one nutrition packed with 3X sugar-free electrolytes for an extra hydration boost!
Exercise works wonders for post-vacation lethargy, so get your body movin’! It doesn’t have to be intense or look a certain way. Go for a walk, hit the gym, or pick your favorite dance move and get to it! — sweating out every last ounce of holiday indulgences and jet lag left in your body.
Moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise helps combat anxiety and depression. Based on a study published in the journal of JAMA Psychiatry, adults who did activities like brisk walking for 1.25 hours per week had an 18% lower risk of depression than those who didn’t. Exercise also helps boost mood, improve sleep, lower blood pressure and reduce stress.
Meditation is one of the best ways to deal with post-vacation blues. It allows us to focus on the present moment and deal with stress and anxiety by getting our minds off of the things that trigger unpleasant emotions.
6. Get Enough Sleep
It's easy to brush off the importance of sleep, but it's challenging to be productive when you don't feel well-rested. Try to reduce screen time in the evenings to let your brain switch off and allow yourself an 8-hour window to establish a relaxing environment and wind down for sleep.