Dealing with Post Vacation Depression

September 02, 2009

After coming back from my recent Peruvian adventure, I found myself in an unfamiliar post vacation state. Usually, vacations (mostly the tropical island sort) rejuvenate me and buy me an additional month or more of effort at work. After this trip, however, I felt far more deflated, and more ready to get on with the weekend than the work week. Worried about the effects of my vacation, I googled for answers and came across the following disorder: Post Vacation Depression (PVD).

Online literature pointed to the following symptoms (mostly taken from Wiki):

  • Withdrawing from normal activities
  • Tiredness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Exclaiming your hatred of work
  • Feelings of nostalgia
  • Whining and sighing
  • Depression
  • Threatening to quit your job

While I won’t mention my symptoms, I will say I fit the bill. To help deal with this disorder, one can (

  • Take a mini vacation to relax from your vacation
  • Get healthy if sick
  • Share your trip with others
  • Plan your next adventure

While all are great ideas, the most influential piece of advice was to plan my next adventure. Applying the business model, the flywheel, to PVD, one can conceivably infinitely fight PVD while also increasing work efficiency by maximizing happiness. How does it work? Well, if you’re vacation goes smoothly and you’re happy and ready to work the minute you get back, great! But, if you’re suffering from PVD when you get back, planning your next adventure will get you back to work while also supplying the next vacation, feeding the flywheel until you run out of vacation days or manager patience (read: fired).

Now to find the destination of that next trip…