Most of us know what it’s like to be in anticipation of an upcoming holiday or vacation. There is usually a lot of excitement, planning and generally positive feelings surrounding such events. However, this happiness and exhilaration is usually quite short-lived and fades away as soon as we land back into our usual routine. You might be questioning: is it normal to have post-holiday blues? This article will explain further the concept of post-vacation blues and give some tips on how to deal with this. 

The short answer is, yes, it is completely normal to have post-holiday blues! Taken from the dictionary, the word holiday literally means “a day of festivity or recreation when no work is done”. Naturally, for most people, time away from work exploring a new country and taking some downtime with friends, family or significant others is way better than being at work. Therefore, it is completely understandable that for some, returning to sources of stress such as work, education and family life after a vacation can bring about feelings of depression and anxiety.  

Symptoms of Post-Holiday Blues

Some symptoms of post-holiday blues include feeling stressed, depressed, or irritable, feeling unmotivated or in a generally bad mood. Most cases of post-holiday blues are not serious, and symptoms typically fade away after some time. It is usually just the mind’s way of adjusting back to reality and coming down from a high of positive emotions that leaves feelings of withdrawal once the vacation is over. 

For some people, struggling to return to their usual routine might include excessive daydreaming about their trip, significant time spent looking at pictures and videos taken on the trip, and obsessively looking for their next vacation. If you find yourself constantly fighting such emotions or finding them incredibly hard to shake off, this could be an indication that you might need to manage the different sources of stress in your life in a better way. 

While we might not always be able to avoid experiencing post-holiday blues, there are definitely ways to try and manage this in a healthy manner. The following are some tips on how to deal with difficult feelings that may come up after vacation

Tips on how to deal with Post-Holiday Blues

  • Take an extra day of vacation leave

Don’t rush instantly back to your routine! Taking an additional day off can help you to land back to your normal life and ease back into the transition of returning to your usual routine.

  • Clean house, clean mind

Taking some extra time to clean up the house or taking care of any other chores prior to going on vacation can help with feeling less stress upon your return. This can help with managing post-holiday blues, as there isn’t an infinite to-do list to take care of after your holiday.

  • Thanks for the memories!

Taking the memories from your trip and putting them down into a journal with a collage of photos can help you remember how meaningful the trip was for you, even if you are back to your usual routine.

  • Take regular time off

Holidays are exciting, however for most of us, these are not possible to take on a regular basis. Instead, try taking regular time off from work to do other fun activities as a way to manage your stress.

  • Reach out

Sometimes, heavy feelings can be difficult to shake off on our own. Take some time to meet with a friend or someone you trust to discuss how you are feeling. Having social support is a great way to combat stress and feel satisfied with life.

If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue, you can reach out here.

Pamela Borg is a counsellor who enjoys working therapeutically with adults experiencing various issues. These include general mental health and wellbeing, gender, sexuality, and relationship issues.


Field, B. (2022). What Are the Post-Holiday Blues? Retrieved from:

Howard, A. (2021). Is Post-Vacation Depression Real? Retrieved from:

Powell, A. (2023). Post Vacation Depression: What It Is & How to Cope. Retrieved from:

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