Wherever you have been on holiday, a Caribbean island or perhaps a week spent at home visiting friends and family. One thing is always true – You come back down to reality with a big thud!
This can be quite an ordeal for many, in terms of having to deal with a mountain of ‘stuff’ that has built up over the time that you've been out of action.
Dr David Edwards shares his top tips to get you through these so-called “post-holiday blues”.
1. Unpack immediately
There's nothing more irritating than tripping over suitcases for the next fortnight. Get the washing on straight away. Make yourself lists so that you get a feel good factor as you tick things off. Break the lists down into bite size portions so that each item isn’t overwhelming and seemingly unachievable. For example, rather than ‘do washing’ write down ‘washing load 1,2,3,4, ironing children’s stuff, my shirts, put away clean laundry’ which gives you many housepoints!
2. Bring a little bit of your holiday home
Some people get inspired into being creative! A friend of mine recreates a colour she loved on holiday – blue sky in Cornwall, lavender fields in Provence. Redecorate, or paint just one wall and your sunny mood will continue.
3. Get out more
Spend as much time outdoors as possible. One of the reasons we feel so well on holiday is that we spend time in natural daylight rather than shut away under strip lighting. All of us feel better having (hopefully) had some sunshine. Not too much to burn but enough to tweak our pineal gland into action. You may have also done a lot more exercise on holiday such as walking and swimming. Keep this up as exercise has been shown to greatly improve both physical and mental wellbeing.
4. Eat well
If you've been eating fresh fish, fruit and vegetables on holiday, keep up the good habits on your return. The key is choosing fresh foods low in fat. Others on the other hand may have been eating all the wrong things on holiday. Use the return to reality as a kick start to getting yourself back on track. Tell your friends that you are doing it so that they can keep an eye on you if your hand strays towards the biscuit tin.
5. Get out of the rut
Promise yourself you will try one new thing every day – whether it’s lemon verbena tea, a different route to work, or just keeping the television switched off. Many of us waste huge amounts of time just sat watching rubbish. Rather than falling asleep downstairs get an early night and you might find yourself waking up a little earlier. Another friend does this and gets a horrible job such as ironing or washing the kitchen floor out of the way before he goes to work. A change, as they say, is as good as a holiday.
6. Try natural remedies
If all else fails and your post-holiday blues is starting to have a negative effect on your relationships at home and at work there are natural mood-boosting herbal remedies that can help. St John’s Wort is commonly called the “Sunshine Herb” in as much as it can help lift low mood. However, St John’s Wort does not suit everyone as it can interact with some prescription and over-the-counter medications such as the contraceptive pill. If you are unable to take St John’s Wort then another herbal remedy to try is Rhodiola rosea which has a unique dual action of reducing stress levels whilst increasing energy levels allowing you to live life to the full. Make sure that you choose a regulated brand which has a THR logo on the pack as it is a sign of quality and safety.
KarmaMood St John’s Wort extract is available at Holland & Barrett, and other leading pharmacy and health food stores nationwide, as well as online at www.schwabepharma.co.uk.