How many of us have experienced a feeling of unrest and exhaustion returning home from a holiday? According to scientists who study this phenomenon, a rather common condition affects more than half of people returning home from a holiday, called “Post Vacation Blues”. Tiredness, irritability, mood swings, trouble falling asleep: these are the main effects of this actual syndrome. Based on recent studies, in the last few days of a holiday, about one third of us manifests binge eating, one-fourth sleeps longer hours and another 25% believes that partying non-stop is better than idling away, if we want to fully enjoy our last days of vacation. Whichever the case, the sense of wellbeing “dissolves” in just a few days, also because of the pent-up energy we have accumulated. In a report recently issued by the American Psychological Association, Post Vacation Blues is studied in depth.
“On a physiological level, we tend to draw a line between a glorious past (our vacation) and a troublesome and conflicting future (our return to work). It’s a vertically dropping line that takes us from a state of triumph to ruin and which merely reflects our fears and anxiousness”, says Piero Barbanti, Head Neurologist at the IRCCS San Raffaele Pisana.
“The symptoms of Post Vacation Blues are often characterized by a sense of fatigue, problems concentrating, headaches, dizziness, confusion that can even cause an extremely slow heartbeat, perfuse sweating, muscle pain, loss of enthusiasm and irritability. These symptoms aren’t linked to an inability to relax but paradoxically, to a well-spent holiday”, continues Michele Cucchi, psychiatrist and Healthcare Director of the Santagostino Medical Center.
However, there are some simple strategies to help anyone return to their daily routine gradually and without too many problems, avoiding the so-called Post Vacation Blues, such as:
- returning home from the holidays one or two days earlier, in order to settle down before heading back to the office
- drinking lots of water and eating healthy
- keeping in mind that although our holidays are over, we will soon have the chance to enjoy new ones
- engaging in physical activity to reduce stress and rest better
- making plans on how we will spend our free time upon returning home
- taking frequent breaks throughout the day, once we have returned home
- not spending too much time on social networks, as in bed for instance, “spying” on other people’s holiday trips
- scheduling our new office hours
- reaching out to friends for help if we are having problems readjusting to our everyday life
- and well, sleeping on a premium quality mattress, if possible 😉
Briefly, our advice is to make a sort of pit-stop to gradually get back to your usual daily routine and be able to face the new work season in top form.