Post-vacation recovery By Michelle Rae Uy
Always exhausted after your vacation? Here are a few tried and tested tips to combat vacation hangovers. (Flickr: Jude Freeman)
Although a vacation is supposed to leave you feeling rested, too often, we come home and feel drained. Whether it’s from the change of atmosphere, the logistics, the jet lag or simply the idea of picking up ‘normal life’, it’s easy to feel exhausted after your vacation. Here are our top 10 tips to recover and overcome those post vacation blues!
It’s proven that exposure to daylight helps recover faster from jetlag and adapt to the new time zone faster. Get back into the swing of things at home by spending more time outdoors on your first day back and acclimatizing to your usual timezone.
When the body is combating symptoms of jet lag, it needs help. Hydration helps. Dehydration, caffeine and alcohol all worsen the symptoms of jetlag that can include anything from disturbed sleep and headaches to exhaustion and bowel trouble. That’s why it’s called a ‘vacation hangover.’
There’s nothing as restorative as the power of sleep so catch up on those ZZZs! Even short naps help. And if you are fighting jet lag, make sure you get your minimum 4 hours ‘anchor’ sleep during the ‘local’ night once you are back home.
Stress is said to worsen jet lag. To avoid herbal remedies or pharmaceuticals like melatonin, do your best to relax and make the best sleep conditions possible. Make sure there are no disturbances – like those phone alerts, take a warm bath before heading to bed, eat a light meal, and exercise early in the day rather than just before bedtime.
It’s too easy to leave those photos digital and forget about them. Take some time out to get them printed, or even better create a memory photo book to look at and smile.
Give yourself time
Plan in some ‘extra’ time out for yourself before starting ‘normal’ life. It’s tempting to make the most of every minute. Realistically, getting home at midnight and hitting the routing the next morning is too tough. Get back from your adventures a little early than strictly necessary to give yourself a little time to adapt back home.
There’s nothing more stressful than having something ‘unticked’ on the ‘to do’ list, especially a half open suitcase spilling out half its contents onto your bedroom floor. Even worse if you left with a damp swimsuit… Bite the bullet and unpack, do the laundry, and whatever else needs doing so you can get back to it instead of coping with the pressure of unfinished business.
Get your home up and running again
Coming back from the airport, and finding a fridge with a couple of old jars and no fresh food is too depressing. Organize a delivery for your arrival day, or get out and do a quick grocery shop – nothing huge, just enough so you can eat for a few days without staring at anemic shelves and dialing the takeaway—again.
Read the guidebook
While you’re in recovery mode, instead of reading the magazine you picked up in the airport, why not read the guidebook you acquired and never had time to read on the spot? It’s always more fun after, and it will take you on an imaginary voyage back to your destination. Armchair travel isn’t half as exhausting as the real thing.
Book another vacation
The ultimate vacation hangover cure is to book another. Get searching, get dreaming, and give yourself and the family something to look forward to. Nothing seems so bad when you’ve got your next trip booked!
Rowena Carr-Allinson contributed this to MiniTime. Since the arrival of her son in 2011, she has taken him everywhere from Bangkok to NYC, writing family friendly articles en route.