Mental Health

How To Give Your Mind A Holiday

Here’s how to hang on to that relaxed, post-vacation feeling all summer long

Whether your last trip was a staycation or you jetted further afield, the postholiday blues can really put a downer on your summer glow (especially when a global pandemic might have even caused you to cancel your next vacay) – and, according to a study, 57 percent of Brits feel depressed or deflated when they return from some time off. It’s easy to see why this can happen – you’ve been looking forward to it for months, and now it’s all over and you have to get back to reality, plus, as Dr Rekha Tailor of Health & Aesthetics (healthandaesthetics.co.uk) explains, you tend to return to work feeling relaxed and healthy. “You’ve experienced a physical and mental break from your normal life, usually you’ve had more sleep and less stress.” However, there are lots of ways to give your mind a holiday – here’s what the experts had to say…

Set an intention

“First off, set the intent for the holiday before you go,” says Harley Street therapist, hypnotist and life coach Karl Rollison. “Say to yourself, ‘I’m going to use this period to tune-up my life’. Then take a notepad and pen away with you. Having given your unconscious mind a clear objective, you’ll find that ideas will start presenting themselves, they might be on the beach or at lunch. Whatever they are, you need to write them down – they might range from small things like tidying your desk, to big things like changing your career. Include places you want to visit, people to contact, relationships to end, hobbies to take up and languages to learn on your list. Think about every positive action you could take to improve every aspect of your life.”

Get a souvenir

“Try to bring some of the holiday home,” says Dr Rekha. “This can be anything from a photo to hang on the wall, to a candle that emits the scent that was in your hotel room – these will help to trigger those happy memories of the holiday and send your brain the same signals it had when you were there.”

Be present

“Give gratitude for the current moment, for what life has given and continues to give,” says wellbeing expert and founder of wellbeing platform ALMA, Priyanka Lugani (almadeli.com). “In practice, this means that instead of pining for the holiday you wish you were still on, why not try thinking about how thankful you are to have been so fortunate to experience it? When we express gratitude and receive the same, our brain releases dopamine and serotonin, the two neurotransmitters responsible for our mood and emotions – making us feel good. They enhance our mood immediately, making us happy from the inside.”

Keep a routine

“Continue doing a ritual that you did on holiday,” says Dr Rekha. “This could be going for a run each morning or giving yourself five minutes of quiet time to reflect on the day in the evening. This will not only help to elongate that holiday feeling but is also good for your wellbeing long-term.”

Try massage

“Who doesn’t love a massage as a holiday treat?” asks Priyanka. “Create your own essential oil and bring massage into your bedtime routine. All you need is 50ml organic almond oil and 17 drops each of geranium, cinnamon and eucalyptus oil. Mix everything together and use to massage your hands and feet, legs, arms and even your head, daily.”

Take vitamin D

“Vitamin D comes from being in sunlight so by continuing to take vitamin D, you will be helping your body to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate – the nutrients that are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy,” says Dr Rekha.

Eat your water

“Many of us enjoy travelling to warm destinations for our holidays and part of this experience is a plate filled with tropical fresh fruits, packed full of water to hydrate, plus active enzymes that keep our guts healthy,” says Priyanka. “Have you ever heard a friend report how much healthier they felt after eating fruit for breakfast while on holiday? Raw fruits and vegetables are so wonderful for our bodies and with every season, our body shifts and requires a unique set of tools and truths to keep in balance. Try to eat local, seasonal produce that nourishes the body and do this throughout the year.”

Quick ways to beat the blues

Still feeling down after your holiday? Try these tips to help you feel better today

Start planning your next trip

Whether it’s a weekend away or a fortnight abroad, looking ahead to your next break can help you feel positive and give you something to look forward to. You could list the places you’d like to visit, or think about things that didn’t go so well this time and what you’d do to improve that.

Unpack your suitcase

It sounds silly, but doing something as simple as unpacking your suitcase and putting it away can help you feel better – it’ll make you feel more organised and it won’t be a constant reminder of your trip.

Recreate a meal

Fell in love with a specific dish when you were away, or even a cocktail? Have a go at making it at home.

Organise your photos

So often our lovely photos are just left on our phones or cameras. Why not take some time to go through them and get some printed off? You could choose some to go in frames around your house, or create a scrapbook of your trip.

Restart your sleep schedule

Chances are, you didn’t stick to regular snoozing while you were away, and if you’ve got jet lag as well, you’ll need to catch up. Get back into your usual routine as soon as you can and you’ll feel better.

Health & Wellbeing