How to Deal With the Post-Vacation Blues

Amelia Diamond | January 4, 2016

THIS IS SO MUCH WORSE THAN SUNDAY SCARIES

About five times a year I become convinced that I will never have fun again. Among these five times include the week following July 4th, the week following my birthday, the week following Labor Day, the aftermath of at least one wild card weekend which is subject to occur at any time, and following the winter holiday break.

In the interest of full disclosure, I’m writing this before the break has even begun. I say that so you know I wrote this with a clear mind as opposed to one that’s frozen with pre-work anxiety and that dark, I’ll-never-have-fun-again feeling.

Because right now, in this space, I know I will. How? (HOW?!?!) By doing and/or keeping in mind the following:

Make a to-do list, and then bear with me

Write down everything you have to do.

Then circle everything you have to do today. 

Identify “everything you have to do today” as A) the things that, if not completed EOD, will fuck up someone else’s day and B) the things that, if not completed EOD, will get you fired.

Do those things first.

Complete second tier to-do’s next.

Make a to-do list for tomorrow, then call it quits at a normal time. In the words of every sane person I know, “The work will be there tomorrow whether or not you do it now.” So go home. Bet you haven’t unpacked or done the laundry yet, right? There she is.

Plan something that requires a reservation for this weekend

It doesn’t have to be anywhere “trendy,” but put your name down at a restaurant you’ve been wanting to try or one that you heard was terrible and would like to make up your own mind about. The point is that you will have something to look forward to and somewhere to be.

Get dressed up

Get dressed up for the reservation above, get dressed up for work, get dressed up to run errands, get dressed up to take a selfie. Don’t let “but I have nowhere to wear head-to-toe sequins and a feather cape to” be your excuse any longer. It’s 2016, we left normcore way behind.

Make a sitting plan with friends

This is less intense than standing plans but does require you and your friends to agree to a new tradition, whether it’s to visit a museum once a month, do a Google hangout once a week, or dinner every third Sunday. The goal is to have something to look forward to. Leandra and I will be having virgin cocktails at The Carlyle next Monday. Doesn’t that sound great?

Avoid college students

They’re on break way longer than those in the work force and will remind you that you’re not on vacation anymore. (But hey, at least you pay your own bills!)

Avoid babies, too

Always sleeping and eating. So rude.

Sign yourself up for something 

A calligraphy class, geography lessons, Blue Apron, a volunteer program — you need an extracurricular activity that isn’t drinking or the gym.

That said, drink and workout

Not at the same time, but also not not at the same time.

Start a project

Finally begin doing that thing you’ve always talked about. Bonus points if it can be done from the couch.

Start a group chat

With strangers! It’s so much more fun and just as confusing as with friends.

Host a dinner at the end of January

This will give you something to plan all month and will give all those who you invite a pleasant reason to complain (they have nothing to wear!) (but they do!) (isn’t figuring out your outfit the best part of dinners?) (besides the eating!) (cool punctuation huh?) (sorry).

Nest

Focus on getting your apartment or room or home cozy. Buy candles, DIY a pillow, visit your florist toward the end of the day when he or she is likely to give you a discount on the nicer flowers, play music non-stop and create a space that you makes you excited to stay in.

With all that crap out of the way, now you can nest: gather all the twigs, berries and baby worms you can find!

Repeat after me…

It’s gonna be ok. It’s gonna be great. And there’s just a few more months until summer. Until then: scroll through the slideshow above and smile — it could be worse.

Feature image photographed by Max Farago for Self Service Magazine.

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  • Thank you for this. xo. but I was honestly ready for the long weekends to be over. I am EXHAUSTED from making “congrats on your engagement” collages.

    • Leandra Medine

      honestly, im really tired of having enough thinking time to wonder when its appropriate to stop wishing people a happy new year

      • once jan hits the teens, just start wishing me a happy valentine’s day. move it right along

        • Dorothy Young

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  • Being back in the office was far more depressing than I anticipated. I didn’t want to go to bed last night. I really like the idea of planning events/things that help you look forward to the weekends and weeknights. I’m seriously considering French lessons as a way of keeping myself busy.

  • I’m stuck between having enjoyed all my plans, and being too tired to make new ones. Sitting plans sound perfect o_O

    • Corrina Dixon

      I am getting a salary of more than 4400 dollars each week , that is awesome. Over a year ago I was in a horrible condition , jobless and Bank account with only few bucks . Thanks to one of my friends who showed me a way where I was able to gather myself and making average of 68 d/h. So it can change your life as it has changed mine.

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  • Zee Hoffmann Jones

    LOVED this. Thank you for giving me hope <3 Nest status: in effect.

  • “Don’t let “but I have nowhere to wear head-to-toe sequins and a feather cape to” be your excuse any longer. It’s 2016, we left normcore way behind.”

    I think this is going to be my mantra for 2016.
    And the best/worst part of this is that back in September before all the holiday hoopla that happens for Rosh Hashanah/Sukkot/Yom Kippur I bought an entirely gold sequined top in a moment of……. something that I have never ever found a purpose or place to wear it to.

  • Natty

    or: spontaneously book a trip to a warm destination for a long weekend in February (i did this yesterday in a fit of depression and am rather pleased with myself)

    • Leandra Medine

      where are you going and can i come?

      • Natty

        tulum! come one, come all! we are headed there presidents day weekend, which conveniently doubles as valentines day weekend

  • ella

    I’m currently at work counting down til 5pm and staring out the window at miserable rainy weather (I’m in sydney so it SHOULD be warm and sunny this time of year).
    This article is 10/10 for back-to-work inspiration- thank you!

    I went *hard* in to the 2015 sneakers/normcore vibe so this year I’ve resolved to dress way more CEO/Beyonce at work. Keen!

  • Anya Livshyts

    ahhh I needed this so much <3

  • Ché Hot Chocolate

    I cannot thank you enough for this!

  • Love the idea of booking something to look forward to x

  • Jessica

    Love this post! January is always a bot depressing. Great advice!

    • Jessica

      Oops that should by “bit”

      • Jessica

        “Be”… uugh!

  • Ashli Molina

    Bless you for this. I’m bookmarking this for May 14, the day after I graduate (aka college has been a pre-adult world vacation), and for post-Paris (a 4 month vacation I’m on right now)

    • Ashli Molina

      how does a group chat with strangers work?? i wanna know

  • Ellie

    Thank you! This was exactly what I needed today x https://lifestylebyeblog.wordpress.com