Posted March 28, 2023

End-of-Vacation “Scaries,” Anyone? Here’s How to Keep Them in Check

Travel Tips

We’ve all had the moment — you’re on vacation and *supposed* to be having the time of your life, but worries about your inevitable return to the “real world” keep creeping in. It could be the day before leaving Paris, and you’re gazing at the city from atop the Eiffel Tower when you realize this time tomorrow you’ll be on a plane home. Or maybe you’re enjoying that last special dinner before heading up to your room to pack when the anxiety-inducing thoughts hit.

Feeling end-of-vacation scaries? We know, us too. (Photo Credit: Hannah Busing)

Sound familiar? That’s a case of the post-vacation scaries.

We’ve probably all experienced the pang of dread that comes along with thoughts of going back to the grind after a wonderful vacation doing things that fuel our souls. Here are some tips to help keep that anxiety at bay and enjoy the here and now — well, now.

The Day After Flying Home

The day after getting home can arguably be the hardest — you’re jetlagged, have a ton of things to do, and have to go back to work. Following these tips will (hopefully!) make that first day back flow a little smoother.

  • Take an extra day off work to start readjusting to your usual routine. This is also a great time to tackle tasks like grocery shopping and laundry. You’ll feel much more at peace about the week ahead with this more menial tasks taken care of.

Don’t forget to unpack that suitcase. (Photo Credit: @kimptondewitt)

And start your week as prepared as possible. (Photo Credit: @kimptondewitt)

  • If possible, block an hour or two of your first day back on your work calendar. Use this time to catch up on emails and figure out (and write down!) your top priorities for the week.
  • Put together a routine that incorporates some mindfulness (early in the morning or late in the evening).
  • Set out your work clothes and assemble your work bag & lunch the night before you get back into your regular routine.

And don’t forget to unpack that suitcase!

For Your Mental Health

As you ease back into the swing of life, it’s important to prioritize your mental health too. Pick and choose which of these tips will work for you in the weeks after that fantastic trip.

Pick a mantra that works for you. (Photo Credit: @kimberleybergman)

  • Develop a personal mantra like “I’m smart, talented, and motivated” — and repeat it.
  • Put some community-oriented plans on the calendar (giving yourself something to look forward to).
  • Reach out and ask a friend about their end-of-vacation scaries and how they managed to get past them.
  • Remind yourself that peace and chaos go hand in hand.

Reach out to a friend (and maybe go on a bike ride!) to get past the post-vacation scaries. (Photo Credit: @twins_that_travel)

And lastly.. before leaving for vacation, make sure to tidy up your house — because coming home to a mess is the absolute worst.

So many people struggle with feelings of dread toward the end of a vacation and upon returning home — rest easy knowing that you’re not alone.

Check out our full #StayWell series about self-care, wellness, and easy travel tips by following the tag below.


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