The average Smith has about 26 vacation days, which, thanks to the mobility of the calendar, can be cleverly doubled. How to do it? Taking advantage of statutory holidays off work and, for example, instead of having three free days on May Day, have as many as nine! In this way, you can be on vacation almost every month. This is ideal, especially for people who love to travel, and stagnation makes them dizzy. It is in them that the phenomenon known as “post holiday blues” is also most common. What is it and how to deal with it?

Table of Contents:

Post holiday blues – what is it?

Although at first glance the name “post holiday blues” seems foreign, nothing could be further from the truth. Surveys show that nearly half of Poles experience a drop in form after returning from vacation, and only a small group sees no difference in their well-being. The condition is known around the world and goes by many different names: Post Holiday Blues, Post Holiday Speen, Post Vacation Blues, Post travel depression or Back to work blues. In Poland, we simply call it PHT – or post-holiday tension syndrome.

Post-holiday tension syndrome

The phenomenon of post-holiday tension syndrome has attracted the interest of psychologists and psychiatrists around the world. As the number of travelers has increased, so has the number of those suffering from PHT. Most of the symptoms pass spontaneously within a few days, when we begin to slowly return to normal life and reintegrate into the work system. However, there are some people in whom this condition can last for weeks, months, and even turn into depression.

Post Holiday Blues
Photo: Depositphotos

Why is this happening? Usually, when we return from vacation, within the first few hours a huge number of responsibilities fall on us, from which we cut ourselves while away. Often these are completely mundane matters, such as laundry, cleaning or cooking. But the thing we are always most afraid of is opening our email inbox at work, where, after a week’s absence, there are often not dozens, but even hundreds of unread messages waiting for us, and most of them marked “for yesterday.”

Symptoms of post-traumatic syndrome after the vacations

It is difficult to get back to all these activities when your head and thoughts are still far away. We then feel overwhelmed by an excess of responsibilities, which translates directly into a decrease in our well-being. Post-holiday despondency usually manifests itself in general irritability and distraction. What’s more, instead of being rested, we feel something completely different – fatigue. Even hectoliters of coffee drunk can’t help the situation. The body itself has to return to the old way of life before the vacation. This usually lasts a few days, after which the mood spontaneously improves.

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How to cope after a vacation?

Many people wonder how this is possible. First of all, during the vacations, we often let go of diet and physical activity, allowing ourselves to do more. We don’t get up at the crack of dawn, we don’t set the alarm clock, we throw in the so-called “alarm”. Holiday backlash in almost every aspect of life. When we return from vacation, our body and head must again embrace old patterns, habits and routines. As soon as we get back on track, the good mood will also return.

Regular workouts, healthy eating, meeting friends or going for a walk with a beloved pet can really do wonders. In addition, you can introduce yoga or relaxation classes to help you adapt faster.

The worst is the period between vacations

But a healthy lifestyle is not the only signpost. It’s also worth reigning in the chaos at work that was created while we were away. First of all, don’t think in terms of “why did I need this vacation when now I have twice as much work”. Remember that your vacation was simply due to you, and now when you return, fulfill your duties with peace of mind and without feeling that something has to be done already. Make a work schedule and delegate duties that can wait. Take care of those issues that really can’t wait first. This way you won’t get looped in and overwhelmed by an overabundance of issues.

Post-holiday tension syndrome
Photo: Depositphotos

Take a relaxed approach to your work and give yourself time. Stress and haste are not your ally for many reasons. First of all, you won’t work efficiently then, and secondly, instead of doing the outstanding tasks one by one, you will try to do everything at once, which will only add to the chaos and make you feel even worse.

Number of days off

Instead of wondering whether it was worth going on vacation at all if you have twice as much work when you return, look for the positives. For starters, try to plan your trips in advance. On average, 52 weekends fall during the year, plus holidays such as Christmas and Easter, which are also free from work. If you work full time, you also have about 26 vacation days. In total, this gives up to 150 days off.

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How to double your vacation?

Although weekend trips alone are sometimes not enough to relax, it is worth knowing how you can extend your vacation. When planning a vacation, you may want to take into account, at least holidays during which there is statutory time off. Among them are: Epiphany (January 6), Easter Monday, May Day (May 1-3), Pentecost, Corpus Christi, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (August 15), All Saints’ Day (November 1), Independence Day (November 11), and the first and second days of Christmas (December 25-26).

By maneuvering between these already free days, you can add your vacation and thus, instead of two short trips, choose one longer one.

What to choose: more often and shorter or once and for all?

According to the study, we cut ourselves off from thoughts of work while on vacation completely around day 8. This is also worth taking into account when planning a vacation if you want to really rest and recuperate. The optimal vacation is one that lasts about 2 weeks. First of all, then we cut ourselves off from our daily responsibilities, and in addition, after those first eight days we are still aware that we have a lot of free time left.

By planning two two-week vacations a year, we give ourselves the time and space to take a decent break from work. In addition, we can also go away on weekends, which also translates into our well-being. Employees who take regular vacations are much more efficient and creative. Their health also improves: the risk of heart attack drops by as much as 20% (according to the WHO) and their resistance to viruses increases.

The most interesting places for a weekend city break

Currently, airlines have more and more Last Minute tickets to various European countries on offer. So you can buy them at a really attractive price and go on a short vacation as early as Friday after work. If well organized, we have 2.5 days to explore, if only all the European capitals. Barcelona, Rome or Athens await lovers of warm countries. If you like a more temperate climate, Scandinavia, including Oslo, Stockholm and Copenhagen, is a good option.

Tickets there can be purchased for as little as a few hundred zloty round-trip, and in low season they are even twice as cheap. Most European capitals have good public transportation, which you can take advantage of while learning about local culture and traditions. By choosing more frequent short trips, we greatly reduce the risk of Post Holiday Blues, since we are still in the middle of the trip or planning it.

city break
Photo: Depositphotos

Where to go for an extended vacation?

When it comes to longer vacations, destinations such as Indonesia, Thailand, the Dominican Republic and the US are becoming increasingly popular. Buying a ticket well in advance, we can also find them at discounted prices. In addition, going to a country with a different time zone will help take our minds off work.

Going on a longer vacation, we can plan it from start to finish on our own or use an already ready-made offer from a travel agency. Of interest, a two-week vacation is not much more expensive than a one-week vacation, so it is worth taking this into account when planning not only your vacation, but also your budget.

The difficult art of rest

Contrary to appearances, relaxation is a very difficult art that some people learn all their lives. Instead of checking your email inbox every now and then and waiting for a call from work, focus on relaxing. If you take a complete break from corporate affairs, it will be easier to return to your daily duties later and shorten your post-holiday recovery. Send your mind on vacation and enjoy the moment, don’t think about how hard it will be to return to work. A true GentleWoman can separate leisure and work, and you are, after all, one of them.

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