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Vacation Depression: How to Cope

Psychologists explain how to avoid vacation depression, plus tips on creating a vacation that matches your personality.

Shaking Off Vacation Depression

But sometimes it's a fact of vacation depression -- the energy just isn't there to do it all.

"Depression doldrums are a vicious cycle," Kaslow explains. "You feel badly, so you don't do fun stuff -- which makes you feel worse. I encourage patients to find a way to break the cycle. You have to do something you used to think was fun. It may not be as fun as it used to be -- but that has the greatest chance of making you feel better."

To avoid vacation depression you need to also consider: What's your "vacation personality"? What type of vacation would benefit you most? "It's a very important issue -- adapting the vacation to your personality, to your family's personality," says Farley.

"Some people are what I call Big-T, big-thrill people -- they have a great sense of adventure and need a lot of novelty, intense experiences," he explains. "They want the Big Scream ride at the amusement park, or sleeping under the stars at a dude ranch, or exploring a city. That's actually relaxing for them, invigorating, because it fits who they are."

But if stability, predictability and the quiet life are more appealing -- a week at the beach or beside a pool will suit you fine.

"It's all about creating a vacation that fits your personal style -- so you arrive home feeling truly refreshed," he says. "A week by the pool is not going to appeal to a thrill seeker. You'll only be miserable, get home feeling like you've wasted your time."

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