Coping with the post-holiday blues

Coping with the post-holiday blues

By NellFrizzellIdeasTap 27/08/14

Clouds the colour and consistency of a rotting flannel, no food in the fridge, 17,864 unread emails and that uneasy feeling that you’ve forgotten what you do for a living. We’ve all been there. But here’s how you can fight back....

When I got back from my four-month holiday – sorry, I mean “sabbatical” – it felt like I was on top of the world’s shittest log flume; staring down into an inevitable sinking, soaking horror. 

Whether you’ve just got back from Edinburgh, are returning for a long anticipated hot week abroad or have to go back to school or college soon, the post-holiday blues can feel about as fun as a dead trout down your trousers. But, there are ways of coping. To whit:

1. Book another holiday 

Not a holiday, holiday. Not necessarily. But start thinking about the next nice, non-work thing you could do. It could be a day trip, a meal out, a weekend away or a tour. Not just because the anticipation from planning a holiday is roughly 50% of the fun of most holidays, but because it will remind you have a life outside work.

2. Apply for some fun/funding

You know we give away a shitload of cash every year, right? Through our own Ideas Fund Innovators and Editor’s Briefs, but also in partnership with lots of other extremely well-regarded arts organisations. So, whether your have a project for film, theatre, dance, comedy, writing or photography that could do with a cash injection, have a look at our spanking range of Creative Competitions. After all, if you’re not on holiday, you might as well be doing something productive.

3. Turn the telescope around 

Your life is your life and your work is something that happens during it. You are not just your job, the next project, your colleagues and collaborators or your pay cheque.

However, “holiday you” is not the “real you”. We can’t all spend our lives eating our meals overlooking the sea and drinking before midday. Well, OK, we can, Dylan Thomas did, but just look where that led him. No, the magic of holidays is that they are temporary. Rather than mooning over an alternative life you have actually chosen not to live, make an effort to improve the one you’re living.

4. Keep your out of office on

For a little while, at least.

5. Take some vitamins

Seriously. Vitamin D deficiency, a lack of iron, a zinc shortfall – these will all make you feel sadder, drabber and bluer than you might otherwise. I’ve been glugging iron supplements, straight from the bottle, in the office kitchen since about July. It makes me look like some sort of furtive iron addict/ alcoholic, but at least I’m not crying in the unisex toilets.

6. Learn something new 

The only thing that would get me through the late-August post-holiday blues as a child was the thought that soon I would be going back to school. Back to hanging out with my friends and being a non-yellow, real-life Lisa Simpson, learning everything and acing my way through class. Well, the same is true now. With our IdeasTap Spa training and events, you can learn a massive range of new creative skills, meet like-minded artists and make the kind of contacts that will make your career a genuine pleasure.

7. Do your washing

If there is a single problem that clean sheets can’t make at least slightly better, then I’ve not met it. Heartbreak, illness, depression, poverty – I’ve alleviated them all, a little, with a set of clean sheets and the smell of detergent. The same goes for underwear too, by the way.

8. Get pissed

Or go for a walk after dinner. Have a swim. Snog a stranger. Go dancing. Eat dinner outside. Wear your best clothes. Have a pudding. Read a book. Go to a market. Chat to strangers in a bar. In short, do all the things that make a holiday lovely, but that are entirely possible and on offer here at home. Your holiday isn’t over; the location just changed.


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Image by Maddie Photography via Flickr under a creative commons license.

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