If you were one of the expats like myself who got out of Shanghai for Chinese New Year you may be feeling just like I am right now - depressed! After a fabulous two week vacation in New Zealand I’m definitely feeling the post CNY blues! For two amazing weeks my family lounged on sandy beaches surrounded by gorgeous mountains and greenery, we ate over-priced fish and chips and ran after crabs in the mud, we saw glow worm caves and wild seals, we soaked in lots of sun and fresh air - and by the end of it, as it can be sometimes with long vacations, we were ready to come back home and back to normality.
It all started on the plane. Actually, it started about 15 minutes before we got to the gate in Shanghai when then airline stewardess started screaming for everyone to sit back down while the plane was taxiing on the runway. Then about 3 minutes before docking at the gate all you heard was a sea of seatbelts unbuckling, bags being snatched down from overhead compartments, cellphone conversations, and the drowned out pleas of the stewards begging for order.
The next 1/2 hour was a blur of Visa checking, fighting for a luggage cart, fighting for a place to pick up our luggage, and being crammed into an elevator to the parking lot because maximum load be damned! And that’s when it actually hit me: I’m back.
So since then I’ve been doing everything in my power to get back into the swing of things to feel normal again! Here are some of my tips that might help you to get over your post CNY funk:
- Get active: So the sky is grey, that doesn’t mean you cant get outside for a nice walk or jog! So slap on your 3M N95 face mask of choice and get to it! I’ve already been back to bootcamp this week. And all those fish and chips are showing as I heave myself along at the back of the pack citing jet lag when I fully know it’s the ball of grease firmly lodged in my gut.
- Re-connect with friends: There is a 99.9% chance that your friend, recently returned from their fabulous trip, is feeling just the same way you are. Get together over Starbucks and chat about exactly how long it will be until you get to escape again!
- Take up a hobby: Myself, I’ve taken up bread making which has giving me a new thing to focus my hate on besides the fact that I’m no longer on vacation. Seriously, how can a bread maker fail in the ONE thing it’s designed to do?! I’ve gone through 3 different yeasts, 4 recipes, countless cups of flour, and many tears.
Ditch original hobby, refocus on a better hobby: My bread maker is this close to taking a flying leap off the balcony and my new hobby will be making hooch in my downstairs guest bathtub.
- Don’t complain: Because chances are you will complain to that ONE friend who didn't go anywhere for CNY and then they will be all like hate-fire and “count yourself lucky’s”.
- Remind yourself why Shanghai is awesome: And indeed it is! Great food, interesting people, a zillion things to do, a ton of markets to explore, and many lunch dates involving wine to be had.
Right now as I type this, outside my window the sky has opened up and sunlight is streaming in. So despite the fact that a little piece of me still wishes we were spending ridiculous amounts of money and driving 4 hour days, it is kinda nice to be home.
Now excuse me while I go on Ctrip and look up deals for spring break.