Yes. This is a thing. Trust me – and read on.
One minute you’re laughing and sunning on the beach, drink in hand, friends to your right, sand to your left (or insert your own recent fabulous vacation that all your friends would be jealous of) and then boom – you don’t know where you are or how you got here, or what happened, but you’re home. Or worse – back at work/your desk/insert something bad here. And reality sets in..the party is officially over…
You are sad, irritated, tired and feel a bit out of it. You feel blue and you can’t shake it. Why do you feel like this? You just had so much fun! Don’t worry – you have a case of PVB – post vacation blues (good god, what did you think it stood for?) and this is totally normal. Thankfully there are a few things you can do to help remedy this sour mood you’re in (unless of course you can just hop back on a plane and get back to your exciting weekend trip immediately. Then by all means, please do that).
But for those of us less fortunate souls who cannot hop back on a plane we must deal with these said blues and move on. The first step in getting through it is noticing your symptoms and taking action fast.
A huge, tall, banana-hand man I once knew would always say we need to “participate in our own rescue”. And folks he may be right (I can’t believe I just said that). Here are some things I’m trying to do that may be of help to you as well.
1. Be aware. You may have no appetite at all or you may be ordering XL sizes of everything in sight – of course you want fries with that! You may feel restless, irritated, angry, tired. You may wear two mis-matched socks to work (because you surely didn’t do anything that required socks this weekend) or forget that you have to put on jeans instead of a bathing suit. Yes, that actually happens. You may just have an overall feeling of being blue. What is going on? Why do you feel crazy? Don’t worry. Calm down. Deep breaths – you’re suffering from the PVB’s. Don’t be scurred – just be aware.
2. You are not alone. Everyone else you were with either had or will have a bit of a meltdown post-trip. You may think that sending around the funny photos on a group text will make you feel worse or looking at the FB photos (that you look super cute and tan it btw) will just remind you of how happy you were when you were there and how bluesey you are now that you’re home – but you’re wrong. It will put a smile on your face, on all of your faces actually. No one comes back from a great trip happy and ready to be back. Everyone gets a case of the PVB’s. You are not alone. This is totally normal.
3. Schedule something fun or new. Haircut, dinner date with friends, a massage, a mini day trip to go visit someone or something you haven’t seen in awhile – anything to take your mind off of your PVB. This is called distraction and it can be highly effective. Whoever says doing this is bad for you or that you’re “avoiding” dealing with the blues, is wrong. They obviously haven’t experienced PVB and clearly don’t know the extent of how funny your friends are.
4. Enjoy the memories. And remember these memories. Send out some group follow up emails sharing the stories, or shoot someone a text saying how great the trip was, or remind someone you were with how much you loved being by their side. Make a photo album (dont be a rookie – crop out any unflattering stomach shots), or a journal, or just something that can hold all the love and laughter and wonderful beautiful moments you had in a tiny little suitcase within your heart that will stay with you forever. While the trip and the moments may be over – the memories are still within you. As well as any bad decisions you made, and all the booze and fattening food you’re definitely now regretting indulging in. Those are still within you too. You can only blame yourself for those things, really.
5. Plan your next trip. Immediately. Now. Forget work your first day back (they survived just fine without you while you were gone didn’t they?) and focus on where and what you’re going to do next. Trust me. This helps. Just do it.
6. Feel bad for yourself. I know, I know, you can’t believe I’m encouraging this (and quite honestly I can’t either) – but it’s important to wallow sometimes. To not make yourself perk up and snap out of it. It was great, but it’s over (wah wah). And it’s never fun when the party is over. Eat that huge pizza, drink that bottle of wine. You’re suffering from PVB for christ sakes!
7. Be grateful. At the end of the day – be grateful you were able to travel, and experience, and love and see and give joy. But more so – be grateful you have a case of the PVB’s. You saw, you experienced and you thoroughly enjoyed yourself. There are so many beautiful things in this life to be grateful for – and in some weird way, PVB is one of them.
So welcome home. Go outside and breath in the clean air. Go on a walk. Put some fresh flowers in your house. Sleep well. Eat and nourish yourself with a purpose. Snuggle with a dog. Hug someone you love.
Don’t worry – you won’t be blue forever.
You’ll get through the PVB’s- right in time for the next trip you’ll go on 🙂
Note: We at Peace, Love & Hippiness highly encourage you to reference this post any time after returning home from a trip. PVB is a lifelong disease that is brought on by fun, girlfriends, new cities and culture. It can happen multiple times a year if you’re not careful. Recognizing the symptoms in advance and acting upon them immediately is important for your recovery back into society.