Back from Holiday

Every year, my partner and I travel to his homeland, Brazil at the beginning of March, for a 2-3 week break.  We usually spend most of our time in São Paulo visiting family and friends.  We also make sure we get to the coast to enjoy the beautiful Brazilian beaches and waters and sometimes we take a trip to other cities such as Rio and Salvador.  We are truly blessed and fortunate enough to take these trips.  It is a fantastic way of shortening the British winter.

Home Alone

This year due to family circumstances, I travelled home on my own; leaving my partner behind for some much needed additional time with his family.  Fortunately, my work as cabin crew took me back to São Paulo just 10 days later.  Despite this, the PHBs (Post Holiday Blues) really hit me hard this year.  Why was this and what could I do to beat them?

Levels of PHBs

PHBs are normal.  Everyone experiences them at least once in their life.  For me it’s every time but the depth of them varies from one year to the next.  Normally, it takes just a few days for me to get back into the swing of things.  For example a block of work such as a trip to somewhere else really helps.  Having my partner home to ride through it, allows us to support each other and focus on good times ahead.  Normally, due to the time of year of our holiday, spring and summer are on the horizon and the clocks are soon going forward, bringing back the long and light evenings that I yearn for during the winter months.

However, this year, I felt the strongest wave of PHBs than I have ever felt before.  I got home early on a Wednesday morning.  24 hours later, I was back at work but this time not on a plane going somewhere far flung around the world, but starting a block of training delivery (one of my other roles).  My friends and colleagues were all welcoming and pleased to see me but I found myself struggling to make conversation or even make eye contact and smile.  I knew exactly why I was feeling this.  It was down to me to take control of myself and turn my mood around.

Why the PHBs?

The severity of the blues this year, simply boils down to my capacity bucket overflowing; we have a lot going on.  Our financial situation is a little tight at the moment.  This is not helped by water damage in our flat requiring a rather hefty excess to be paid or the fact that the engine on our car seized a week before going away, resulting in the need to purchase a new one.  In normal circumstances, we would have considered cancelling our trip.  Thankfully, due to travel industry concessions and staying with family, we were able to go ahead.  This was never more important than this time, as we wanted to be with our 15 year old nephew who was commencing chemotherapy.  On top of that, my 93-year-old Nan has also been the cause for concern.  Seriously, a lot going on!

In other years, the PHBs for me, are simply about the transition of having fun every day, eating and drinking, the lack of routine, cherished time with family and friends and dreams of life’s desires to the daily routine of work and running home, the almost mundane day to day life.  I spend all of January and February looking forward to my holiday and like a flash in a pan, the time goes by and we are back in Blighty!  The reality is that all good things come to an end to allow new good things to start.

Combating PHBs

So how does one attack the PHBs?  When I am on holiday, I always do a lot of reflection, particularly when I’m on the beach and swimming in the sea.  I create all these wonderful plans and dream big.  I feel a surge of motivation through my veins and a determination to take action once home again.  Then I get home and my big nemesis, procrastination sets in.

This year, I spent much of my holiday thinking about the issues we are facing and what I could do about them.  After a couple of days at home, feeling sorry for myself and knowing that the problems would not resolve themselves, I forced myself to take action in a structured way.  Rather than looking for quick fixes, for example rushing out and buying any old car, I decided to look at all the options available to me to find the best long -term way forward.  Amazingly, I started to feel calmer, which in turn led to more focus and a reminder that material things are just that.  Clarity of perspective is a good grounding tool.  We have many decisions to make but the fact that we have options is an incredibly positive thing.

So, apart from actually implementing those moments of inspiration on return from your holiday, what else can you do to beat the PHBs?  Thankfully, there are so many things that you can do.  Here are some suggestions: –

·       Invite friends and family around for dinner and tell them about your holiday experience

·       Book another holiday

·       Make plans to do something fun with your next available free time

·       Recreate your favourite holiday food and drink experiences in your own kitchen

·       Find a new hobby

·       Enjoy the great outdoors

·       Explore your local area – what’s new? What haven’t you done before?

·       Get creative

·       Gratitude

Before you know it, you’ll be back in the full swing of your life at home.  You’ll be able to look back at the holiday and remember how wonderful it was.  As the weeks and months slip away, the next break will loom on the horizon and so the cycle will begin again.

About the author: Stuart Dickson’s passion for personal development began in September 2013, when he joined a Network Marketing Company.  Part of his development is increasing his spirituality and the many ways of doing this.  His first blog, Happy Monday People was born from a project that came about from his personal development journey facebook.com/Happylifepeople

 

‘We Are The Positive Psychology People’

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