7 ways to beat those post-vacation blues

Those first days back at work after vacation are the hardest, right?! A few days ago you were on a beach, cocktail in hand, enjoying the sunset with family and friends and now you’ve got to go back to the office. Don’t worry, it’s OK to feel a bit down about it all, but those post-vacation blues won’t last forever, especially not with these tips.

If you keep finding yourself daydreaming of sunsets and cocktails and avoiding the work piling up on your desk. Or you keep telling the canteen staff to put your food order on your room bill. Or you keep reserving seats in your meetings like you would the sun loungers at the pool. These are all signs that you’ve been away for too long. As sad as it seems to let go of your all-too-recent vacation, it’s time for a reality check! Here are some tips for beating those post-vacation blues.

Before you go:

Plan Ahead

This one won’t help you if you’ve already come back, but it will help for your next vacation. To avoid work piling up on you and causing stress and anxiety from the moment you return to your desk, we recommend taking some time to make a detailed list of everything that needs to be done while you’re away. Take a look at your tasks and work out who can take on what and also make a list for yourself of what urgently needs doing before you jet off on vacation and what can wait until you’re back. The more prep you do, the better for you, your team and your stress levels. It’ll also help you ease back into work better so that you don’t get stressed or depressed on your return.

“The propaganda they will sell you on is “5 weeks PTO.” As enticing as it seems, you will go on vacay, time off, etc.. and will return with a large work load.” – anonymous employer review at spectrum association management

Don’t plan long meetings or new projects for 9AM on the day you get back

On your first day back, depending on how long you’ve been away, you will need some time to read and catch up on all the emails in your inbox. Whatever you do, don’t force yourself to jump headfirst into a new project straight away. If you need to hold a long meeting wait until after lunch at the very least, or even better schedule it in for the next day.

“We have short group meetings where everybody is comfortable speaking their mind.” – anonymous employer review at Your Service Hospitality Staffing

Don’t come home at the very last minute

Of course it’s tempting to want to extend your vacation as long as possible and get back as late as you can before going back into the office. But… you will thank yourself for booking an earlier flight that gives you some time to prepare yourself and get some sleep before your first day back.

Are you interested in some more time management tips? Check our these tips to help you conquer your to do list. 

While you’re away:

Go offline

While you’re away, make sure that you really commit to recovering from the busy months you’ve had at work. Doing so will really help you to make the most of your vacation so you don’t feel sad when you get back. Before you step out of the office put your ‘Out of Office’ notification on and make sure to write that you will not be able to be reached while you’re away. Then, once you’re out of the office and on vacation time, turn off all work-related notifications and stay offline as much as possible. One top tip is to use a separate device for your movies, music etc. so if you like reading take real books or a kindle, and if you enjoy music/ movies then use a separate non-work related iPad or tablet. The more removed you feel from the office the better.

When you get back:

Book your next vacation/ make a list of things to look forward to

When you get home, try to get a new vacation booked as soon as you can. It doesn’t matter if it’s for a month or 6 months’ time, having a new vacation to look forward to will help you to bust your post-vacation blues as you’ll have another trip to look forward to. Alternatively, if you’re broke or you have no paid vacation days left then make a list of things to look forward to. Whether it’s holidays like Christmas or Thanksgiving, weekend trips to visit friends and family, or concerts you have tickets to, make sure to remind yourself of what’s coming up and how much excitement you have to look forward to.

“Decent pay and 40hrs vacay as soon as hired on.” – anonymous employer review at Ficos North America Cooperation


Exercise is not just recreational it’s medicinal. So if you find yourself getting stressed out or depressed when you return to your desk after your holiday, then get yourself to the gym, fitness class, swimming pool or yoga studio. It doesn’t matter which kind of exercise you do, just spending time working out will help you to refresh your mind and give you the much needed energy to get stuck back into your work.

Did you know, there’s a cohesion between your productivity and the food you consume? Check out this article for more information. 

Change your job

If your post-vacation blues are not only connected to the end of a nice vacation but also triggered by poor management, lack of benefits (and vacation days), a stressful working environment and/or a feeling of being underappreciated at work then perhaps it’s time to look for a new job. With our employer rating platform, which happens to be one of the world’s largest, you can search for employers and see real ratings on everything from workplace benefits to company culture.

This article originally appeared on Kununu.