If you’re lucky enough to have taken a vacation over the holidays, this has probably been a rough week for you: Just yesterday, it seems, you were on a beach or some sort of adventure with your favorite people, and now you’re back in the drudgery of day-to-day life. It’s a painful transition, and the sad fact is that most people return to their baseline happiness level fairly quickly after getting home from a vacation.
Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to maximize your vacation happiness, before, during, and after the vacation itself. Watch the latest Science of Us animation to find out more, and you can also check out older episodes from the series — like the most recent one, in which we revealed how anxiety can make you smarter. But first, whip out your phone and take a few minutes to look longingly at those beach pics.