We’ve all been there. Summer holiday, the one you spent the darkest and coldest months of the year planning, is over. You’re still feeling the residual effects of relaxation on your journey home, but you know that work, obligations and general malaise is waiting for you once your plane touches ground. There’s a pit in your stomach as you walk through customs, and you start silently counting the days until your next escape into the sun.
Why are we so much happier while on holiday? Is it possible to hold on to that holiday feeling all year long? Your tan may fade, but your mood doesn’t have to. Try incorporating these simple ideas to avoid a holiday hangover and look on the sunny side of life all year round.
1. Embark on a mini-adventure
A big reason holidays are so much fun is that the change of scenery inspires you to try something new. When we’re surrounded by the same old setting and circumstances, it’s easy to fall back into the daily grind. Each month, think of one thing you’ve never tried and make a plan. This could be anything from trying Tibetan cuisine to taking a rock-climbing class. As long as it contains the spirit of adventure, you’re good.
2. Read a beach book on your terrace
Where is it written that you have to read serious literature and non-fiction at home and that silly crime stories and are only for vacation? Crack open a book, mix yourself a mojito and remind yourself of those two blissful weeks you spent in Cuba.
3. Go outside as much as possible
While only a fraction of us live in climates that allow us to enjoy the sun all year round, getting fresh air (even if it’s chilly!) is healthy for the mind and the body. Studies show that serotonin levels increase by the amount of oxygen you inhale, meaning that the more fresh air you breathe, the happier you feel. Make an extra effort to go out when the sun is shining—it doesn’t have to be warm to give you your vitamin D.
4. Mark your surroundings with mementos
Displaying photos from your holiday is a popular way to snap you out of the post-vacation funk, but what about some more unconventional methods? Carry a metro ticket from Paris in your wallet, so every time you go to pay for something, you’re reminded of the Champs-Élysée. Did you buy a uniquely coloured vase at a flea market in San Francisco? Make sure it’s always filled with fresh flowers and displayed prominently on your kitchen table.
5. Treat your body like you’re on a trip
Turn your bathroom into a Hammam and pamper your skin like you did in Turkey. Eat tiramisu on a Wednesday night just because it makes you think of your Italian food tour. Set your smartphone on airplane mode and just enjoy being digitally unavailable for an evening. These are all small things, but they can have an extremely positive effect.
Stop counting the days until your next holiday and use these tips to keep summer going on all year long. And while on your next trip, be thinking of ways you can extend those holiday vibes for as long as possible.