09 Jan The Post Holiday Blues
Something a bit different today. As Monday morning rears it’s ugly head once more, I wanted to ramble on about something I call the post holiday blues. You know, that slight sinking feeling one gets upon returning home after a holiday, or perhaps returning to work after the festive period.
The Post Holiday Blues
Ye, I woke up this mornin’
But I came home from holiday
and I’ve got the post holiday blues
Ye, I said, I woke up this mornin’!
Right, enough of that! Don’t worry, I’m not here to announce the release of my very own blues EP, though with those lyrics I’m sure it would be a massive hit.
Post holiday blues ailments may include lingering melancholia, restlessness of mind and an immediate desire to travel once more.
Ailments that can’t be cleared by a quick trip to the medicine cabinet or by downing mug after mug of ginger and lemon.
Now as I write this, I’m aware it may come across that I’m a terribly spoilt and ungrateful little so and so, but this post is not meant to come from such a place. I believe these symptoms are the result of a fulfilment issue, or lack thereof in my day to day life.
So, what is this empty, slightly despairing feeling that some of us develop coming home from a break?
Well firstly, there is the matter of expectation. There is the pre-holiday expectation, that Christmas eve excitement one feels the night before a holiday, or indeed Christmas. A feeling that can make you feel so alive and fresh even when you have to wake up at 2am to catch your flight. Saying that, now in my twenties, I am not quite as excitable or lively as I once was as a wee lad waking up at such a ghastly hour!
A holiday can act as that beacon of light at the end of the tunnel. As you work your way throughout the year, that light becomes brighter and as we enter the summer months, we can start to dream of finally breaking through the tunnel. This beam of light then, acting perhaps as motivation to keep ploughing on through the work year, with each day, that ray of light growing brighter.
With this messianic pedestal that we place on the holiday, acting as the saviour and pinnacle of our year, there is great expectancy on it, it has a lot to live up to. Ok, a touch of hyperbole going on here perhaps, but I think I’ve made the point.
Every little disappointment then; a slightly windy day, a mediocre meal, annoying, loud children around the pool, you’re thinking, “great, we’ve only got a few days left and it’s bloody raining!”.
There is a pressure to enjoy one’s holiday. There is the knowledge that if you don’t make the most of it, if the hotel isn’t as amazing as advertised, if you are saddled with jet lag for the initial few days, the ticking of the holiday alarm clock sounds louder and more ominous with each passing day. The awareness that the 365 day countdown till the next holiday will begin again shortly looms over the last few days.
That nagging, looming thought one sometimes gets whilst holidaying, like a little devil on one’s shoulder reminding us that “you won’t be here in a few days”, or “soon you’ll be back at uni, writing a pointless essay on seventeenth century farming methods”. Nooo, not the seventeenth century! Anything but that!
But I don’t believe the great expectancy that a holiday brings with it is the key cause of post holiday blues.
You see, it is my view that a life that needs escaping from every year and then gives you a melancholic feeling when returning to it clearly isn’t one performing at its optimum.
The logic of a holiday just seems a little skewed to me. We save, invest and plan the majority of our year so that for two weeks we can go away.
It is in this vein then that I believe we have this bout of melancholia. “Well, that’s that, roll on next year”. You come home from a holiday and soon enough you are thinking of where to go next year. If day to day life is not fulfilling us, then this annual, fortnightly holiday will act as nothing more than a stopgap. I don’t want the hope and expectation of two weeks a year to justify an unfulfilling, disappointing work and day to day life.
Eventually the post holiday blues will dissipate, the daily routine and 9-5 grind taking over one’s consciousness once more. But it will only return, crawling back into one’s psyche with annual precision if the issue is not dealt with at it’s source.
As someone wise once said, “life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans”; a two week holiday seems to me as simply acting as a pretty plaster, hiding the imperfections of a life that perhaps needs a more permanent healing solution.
A two week holiday then, ultimately will not lead to contentment, for me anyway. Unless, that is, if my day to day set up is something that I don’t need a break from and am excited to return to, this two weeks a year merely a bonus, not the saviour to my year.
Thanks for reading
Have any of you lot ever had the post holiday blues? Do you agree with me as to the origin of it, or do you have a fresh perspective? I’d love to hear either way, even if you completely disagree with me and think I’m talking rubbish!
Thanks for reading (again), like, share, comment – you know what to do!
Travel Tuesdays tomorrow and then back to recipes. I have, what I believe is not just a healthier alternative, but simply a healthy apple crumble recipe to share soon.