11 Ways to Beat Your Post-Travel Depression

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It's the moment practically everyone dreads: the end of an amazing trip. Returning home, whether from a two-week-long vacation or a multi-year round-the-world trip, can hit you hard, and this post-travel depression can affect everyone. Sometimes it can even begin in the days running up to the end—you always end up feeling a little sad in the days before heading home. As well as a sense of depression, other symptoms you may experience include lethargy, loss of appetite, a lack of motivation, feelings of nostalgia, and—a great way to cope —immediately researching your next trip.

In all seriousness, though, post-travel depression can seriously affect your mental well-being and last for as long as weeks or months. One huge reason why this is the case is that travel is transformative. After you've explored the world, you'll feel like a different person, but everyone you return to can be the same. 

So, what can you do to prepare yourself for post-travel depression, and how can you minimize its effects? These helpful tips will help you get back on track and prepare for another journey.

01 of 11

Keep Busy During the Final Days of Your Travels

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The last thing you want is for the end of your trip to be overshadowed by a sense of sadness about it coming to an end. To overcome this, make the final few days of your vacation the busiest of the entire trip. This means booking yourself in for classes, taking tours, going shopping for souvenirs, and taking long walks. It helps to keep your mind off the fact that you'll be returning home soon and keeps you enjoying the place you're currently in.

02 of 11

If Possible, Don't Return to Working or Studying Immediately

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Nothing makes you feel like you've returned to reality with a bang than returning home and immediately throwing yourself back into your old routine. This won't be possible for everyone, but if you're one of the lucky ones, aim to give yourself a few days to transition back into everyday life when you return. If you can't take extra time off, it might be worth arranging to end your trip on a Friday so that you can have the weekend to yourself. 

This time will allow you to overcome your jet lag, unpack and do your washing, catch up with friends, or even sort through your memories. Take your time decompressing and the depression won't hit you as hard.

03 of 11

Catch Up With Friends

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Let's face it: listening to other peoples' vacation stories can be pretty boring, so talking to friends about your trip for any real length of time can be a challenge. When you're battling the post-travel blues, though, this can be a blessing in disguise. Meet up with a friend and chat about what you've been up to in your time apart. Sure, you'll get to share stories from your travels, but you'll also hear about the fun things they've been up to while you've been gone. This will help keep you distracted and lessen your attention on how you wish you were still abroad.

04 of 11

Attempt to Maintain the Mindset of a Traveller

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When you travel, you'll often find yourself with a different mindset. On the road, you may be all about trying new things, signing up for fun experiences, and eating as much good food as possible. But when you live somewhere, you tend to eat at home, fall into a routine, and rarely sign up to try anything new. This lifestyle definitely doesn't help to boost one's mood. 

Keep the buzz of excitement that comes with travel alive by maintaining the mindset of a traveler. Take a cooking class in your hometown, continue with surf lessons, take a dance class or two, and treat yourself to a nice meal every couple of weeks or so. 

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05 of 11

Travel in Your Backyard

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Who says that travel has to end when you return home? After returning home, plan to explore where you live as if you were a tourist. Take a walking tour, jump on a tour bus, take a cooking class, visit the most famous monuments, and take tons of photos. You could even plan a museum-hopping day to learn more about the history of your hometown. 

After traveling and returning home with this mindset, you might find that your hometown is a fascinating place to visit.

06 of 11

Share Your Photos With Friends

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Relive your vacation by sharing your photos with friends on Facebook and Instagram. It'll make you feel as though you're being productive and cheer you up as you look back on your happy memories. Be careful with your privacy settings if you're not comfortable with sharing your vacation with the entire world, though.

07 of 11

Re-Read Your Travel Diary or Travel Blog

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Many love to keep a record of those life-changing moments during their travels. If you decided to keep a travel diary or blog throughout your trip, spend some time reliving the best experiences and looking back on what you learned when you return home. 

If you didn't want your writing to take away from your trip, now could be a good time to start a blog. You can reminisce about the best parts of your journey, share your thoughts and feelings about coming home with your friends or anyone else who stumbles upon it and use it as an opportunity to go through and edit your photos. 

08 of 11

Find a Place for Your Souvenirs

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If you purchased souvenirs on your trip, spend time organizing them and working out where to place them. It'll help fill your home with happy memories and inspire you to keep seeing the world.

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09 of 11

Start Planning Your Next Trip

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One of the best ways to take your mind off the post-vacation blues is by planning your next trip. Start by sitting down and coming up with a list of everywhere you dream of visiting. Next, start coming up with a plan for how you can make it become a reality. With a new focus in your life, you'll have something to keep your mind off of your previous trip.

10 of 11

Start Taking Care of Yourself

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When we travel, it can be hard to take proper care of ourselves. Maybe you ate out for every meal and are feeling unsettled from all that rich food; maybe you spent two weeks lying by the pool while letting your exercise routine fall apart, or maybe you spent every night drinking and dancing and are desperately craving a good night's sleep. 

Travel isn't always great for us, so take your return home as an opportunity to start caring for yourself. Decide to eat healthily for a while, join a gym, run, head to a spa, or get an early night. Taking good care of yourself should help reduce your post-travel blues.

11 of 11

Help Out Other Travelers

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While traveling, you likely ended up relying on the kindness of strangers at multiple points throughout your trip. Whether it was a friendly local who helped send you in the right direction when you were lost or someone at the hostel reception who gave you a fantastic restaurant recommendation, you were probably grateful multiple times for the help others gave you. 

Aim to pay it forward after you return home by helping out tourists who are lost in the place you live. If you see someone staring at a map on their phone and looking confused, ask if you can help them. Suppose somebody makes eye contact with you—smile and ask how they're doing. If someone looks obviously like a tourist, ask if you can do anything to help. You could even spend some time browsing some forums online to see if you can answer any strangers' queries about places you know well. 

It'll keep you busy, help you get back into the routine of chatting to other travelers, and make you feel good about how you're helping others in their times of need.