Coping with a Holiday Hangover

Blog Holiday

It’s happened twice in the last couple of weeks: I’ve arrived home to an explosion of luggage, food, toys and laundry after a family holiday. And although I haven’t been hungover in the traditional sense of the word, I’ve certainly felt the exhaustion and lack of motivation that comes from trying to deal with the amount of stuff that has moved in and taken over our living areas. Even if you didn’t travel over the Christmas break, you might still be experiencing the same thing: stuff everywhere, lots of urgent but not-very-exciting tasks that need to be done, and a feeling of ‘I’d rather just go and have a lie down’.

Here are some ideas of how to approach the ‘holiday hangover’:

  • Have a cup of tea: Yes, I know that this tip is often featured in my blog posts, and it’s because one of the best ways to proceed with any efficiency is to slow down. I find that by the time we arrive home from a holiday, I am exhausted, and I get overwhelmed quite quickly. I enjoy taking the time to have a cuppa (sitting outside, or somewhere away from the chaos), so that I can launch into the next bit with enthusiasm!
  • Keep moving: when we arrived home after 12 hours driving and over two weeks away, I wasn’t really sure where to begin with the sorting and unpacking. But I kept telling myself ‘just keep moving’, and I slowly churned my way through the mountain of bags, suitcases and boxes. It didn’t all get done in one day, either (maybe there are still some things to be unpacked!), but it did keep me going.
  • Be prepared for interruptions: I was so surprised how frustrated I became when I was interrupted on my mission for house-control. The kids had new Lego to build, my husband had stuff he wanted to do in the garden, everyone still wanted to be fed (!), and quite often I had to delay the next thing on my list to attend to needs. I know that this is a part of my everyday job description, but I needed to remind myself that some of the unpacking could wait, but I’d be irritated for years by those Lego stickers being stuck on crooked!
  • Work as a team: I’m slowly getting better at rallying the troops. Getting kids to help carrying bags to and from the car, or unpacking books and shoes, are good responsibilities once they get old enough. We generally unpack the car with my husband bringing everything to the front door, and then I take it to the relevant room to be unpacked.
  • Deal with the big things first: by this I mean emptying out the suitcases and eskies and getting them packed away; immediately putting on a load of laundry and sorting the rest; and trying to clear off the kitchen table so that you have somewhere to eat. Other things can be sorted and put away over the coming days, but it’s important that you have the space to move!
  • Think about food: I gave myself a pat on the back for this idea: while we were interstate, I knew that I would arrive home to an empty refrigerator, and normally we have to do a shop either on the way home or go out again after arriving home. This time, I did an online grocery order using ‘Click and Collect’ (I didn’t know what time we’d arrive home, which is why I didn’t use the home delivery option). It was so great to drop into the collection site five minutes from our house and pick up groceries for dinner and breakfast, plus fruit and milk, and not even have to set foot in a store! I know that this option isn’t available for everyone, but I’d encourage you to think ahead about food and what you will eat when you arrive home, or when you’ll go out for a grocery run.
  • Enjoy the memories: Family holidays are about spending quality time together and going on some adventures! Our family takes turns in sharing our holiday highlights, and we dream about what we might like to do in the future! We had so many special moments as we caught up with extended family and lots of friends during our Christmas holiday and beach-break, and feel so blessed that we’ve had the chance to share these experiences together.

I’m still trying to deal with the abundance of new toys and games that have come into our house since Christmas time. Tomorrow, I am attempting a total makeover of the boys’ toy shelves… with their help! I’ll let you know how it goes! J

Enjoy Summer, stay safe


About The Author


Tanya lives in Canberra with her husband and two sons. She is passionate about helping women to live fulfilled, purposeful lives. She enjoys reading, cooking, craft and creating memorable moments for her family.

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