Make sure you take good care of yourself back at home: go for a run or cook more meals for yourself.
Post travel depression is the alternate side of traveling that is often glossed over and not talked about. Masked with beautiful vacation pictures or Instagram selfies in front of wonders of the world, this feeling is often suppressed. Post travel depression is known to make travelers feel like outsiders when they return back to their own culture after having lived or traveled somewhere else and can even take affect during your first days of traveling or when you come back home from being abroad.
In order to find the right methods to cope with your experience of post travel depression, it is crucial to grasp the major concept of “Reverse Culture Shock” which is a feeling that commonly comes along with post travel depression. Reverse culture shock can make a person feel unfamiliar with their own culture after returning home from traveling and can even be experienced during the first few days abroad.
Making the smooth transition back into a daily routine after traveling is not an easy task without proper preparation. However, these methods may offer a little more clarity.
Connecting with others when you get back home is a stepping stone into integrating back into a routine and shaking away those post travel blues. Seeing friends, neighbors or other familiar faces can lower the amount of sadness you feel and distract you by hearing what they’ve been up to as well. Sharing memories from your trip as well as listening to what they’ve been up to will help you bring your attention away from traveling and focus it on the present moment with the people you missed while away.
Feeling stressed about situating yourself back into your daily routine is also normal. However, by interacting with others, they could suggest advice on how to take it day by day and even help you. According to Mental Health America, working on your connections to others can “help you bust stress and boost well-being” and in a study they conducted, they found that “71 percent of people surveyed turned to friends or family in times of stress.”
Trying something new is another way to take your mind off of post travel depression. Side effects could make you feel lethargic, experience a decrease in appetite and lose motivation. By trying something new, it could open you up to a new hobby and set your mind to the present. Bringing you outside of your comfort zone by learning a new skill, joining a new group or trying a new activity could create the same thrill that you experienced while traveling.
When trying a new activity like joining a cooking class, hiking or trying a new sport, these new experiences will stimulate creativity and keep your mind busy. A busy mind will help you relate these feelings back to the excitement you had while traveling. Planning your next trip to somewhere outside of your comfort zone could even be the next new thing you try doing.
Giving yourself time to gradually come back to your normal life after traveling is necessary in order to unwind, unpack and run back the life changing memories you made while away. Feelings of nostalgia are expected to rush over you once you return and stopping them immediately is unrealistic. A great way to cope with the sadness of leaving a trip is to make sure you take good care of yourself back at home. Whether that means going for a run, or cooking more meals for yourself throughout the day, little can go a long way.