You’re on a warm beach somewhere in the Caribbean, you see the waiter bringing you a fresh Mai Tai and you haven’t even finished the one in your hand. Damn Jean-Claude knows me so well, you say to yourself. You’re basking in the sunlight, the melanin is PAWPIN, and you fall asleep reading some trashy romantic novel you secretly love. The sea-breeze hits your nostrils ever so slightly, you smell the freshness. On this day you’re feeling that drink, goofishly smiling, cackling with your girls. Days later, you’re being slapped by reality.
Welcome to Post-Vacation Depression folks! That feeling when you have to leave paradise and Jean-Claude behind, damn, he was so good at his job though, and bring your raggedy tail back to the real world. You know the one; where your boss is asking about how far along you’ve come on the project, where Rae-Rae and all his badass kids are asking to stay with you, where your ex is trying to pop back up in your life. YIKES. Welcome my friends!
Okay, so maybe it isn’t that bad. It’s possible I’m being dramatic, but Post-Vacation Depression (PVD) is real. I may or may not be going through this as we speak (read as: I AM GOING THROUGH THIS), but I’m also a survivor of PVD. I’ve escaped reality enough times to know that coming back from adventure is the hardest part. Lucky for y’all I’ve come up with 5 ways to overcome PVD.
1. ADJUST YOUR SLEEP SCHEDULE
You were either in a different timezone, partying until the wee hours of the morning, or had the longest journey of your life (here’s mine). Maybe all of these are true, in which case, you’re more than likely going to crash the minute you see your bed. I advise that actually. Sleep. GO TO BED. Fall in love with your mattress and your comforter all over again. Just consider the time. When I come back from traveling, I usually force myself to either sleep or stay up depending on the time. If I get home at 3pm, I try to wait until at least 8pm before I go to sleep, so I start the next day fresh! On the other hand, if I get home at 3am, I’m going straight to sleep. Immediately. I will not pass go. I will not collect $200.
Do what suits you best, but make sure you are able to ease back into your regular sleep schedule as soon as possible. The sooner your sleep schedule is on track, the sooner the lethargic feeling goes away, the quicker you can go back to being yourself, and the sooner your mood swings stop. It’s inconclusive whether my mood swings ever stop, but that’s a story for a different post. The point is to get back into a healthy sleeping schedule, because Lord knows we can’t function without it.
2. TIME TO DETOX
Let’s be honest, you went on a binge. You worked your ass off to get your beach body. You were in the gym, eating healthy, drinking water, then got to the beach and said “to hell with it, I’m here! This is the body the beach got!” I STAN A CONFIDENT QWEEN. You were vacationing and living your best life, consuming all the Mai Tai’s, the oxtails, the pastries. You walked to the bar in the resort, that counts as exercise, right?
LOL sis, I feel you. If you’re trying to beat your Post-Vacation Depression you’re going to have to start by changing that trash diet of yours (I’m not judging, I’m y’all. Y’all are me. We are one.) You have to eat better to feel better. Start up on that workout routine you ditched, try adding some veggies to your meals, maybe a fruit or two. The better your body feels, the better you’ll feel about being back!
3. MENTALLY PREPARE
The worst part of coming back to reality is not knowing what you’re coming back to. Did Rae-Rae and his badass kids tear the house up? Do I have the most projects waiting for me at work? Are there bills that I’ve neglected? Will the damn lights even be on when I get home? Alright loves, if you’re unsure about your lights...and you were just traveling... you gotta work out your priorities. If you’re worried about the work awaiting you, I feel you. I find that it’s easiest to get back into the swing of things when I mentally prepare myself for what’s to come.
I initially try to come to terms with the fact that I am going to have an adjustment period. I go back knowing that things are not going to be butterflies and rainbows. I go back thinking realistically, considering what work I might have and how I’ll get it done. Post-Vacation Depression can be stopped if you prepare for it! Get ahead of PVD so PVD doesn't get ahead of you! (Did that sound like an STD infomercial to anyone? Just me? Ok, great.)
Consider the time you had, the people you met, the things you saw, the experience, the lessons, the undeniable joy and laughter that filled you. Carry that around with you upon return. Make it a point to feel that Jamaican sunlight no matter where you are. I’m not crazy, (debatable), I know you can’t feel the damn Jamaican sun in the dead of winter in New York. I’m asking that you carry the feeling of the Jamaican sun glazing your melanated ass skin. Carry the feeling of being surrounded by your favorite people. Carry the feeling of waking up to a sea-breeze around with you. Call it your happy place. When things get rough, remember that feeling. Remember that place. Go there often.
Rae-rae and his badass kids getting on your nerves? SSKKKKRRRTTT. Reclaim your joy. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy or fun to do all the time, but it’ll be a way to stay grateful. Remember to thank your Higher Power, your Universe, your God for showing you its creations. PVD is hard to manage, but holding that piece of light inside you makes dealing with the real world that much more bearable.
5. PLAN YOUR ESCAPE
I know you’re grateful and all my love, but uhhhh when we leaving? Yeah, we need to get on that next! Your best best for escaping reality while still engaging in said reality, is to plan your escape! Where are you going? Who are you going with? If you went with a big group last vacation consider going solo on the next one, and vice-versa. Figure out your travel style (here’s a guide). Your PVD doesn’t stand a chance against the thrill of deciding where you’re heading to next! Leave the country once and you’re well equipped to go time and time again.
There’s nothing that eases the mind more than knowing that your escape is just around the corner. Don’t worry about not having the money yet, you’ll collect it, you have time. Don’t worry about not having the full plan yet, you’ll figure it out, you have time. Once you take the first couple of steps to figuring out where you’re going next, PVD is out the door making room for curiosity and excitement about the next adventure.
Ever experienced Post-Vacation Depression?
What did you do to get back into the swing of things?
Let me know in the comments below!