Finding it difficult to get back into the swing of everyday life after your holiday? You’re not alone! Every third person suffers from motivational difficulties, exhaustion and tiredness after their holiday. In January, the number of people affected is particularly high. No wonder because many people take a well-deserved break at the end of the year. It’s a time to recover from stressful everyday life and take time out to relax and recharge. This makes it all the more difficult for most of us to get up early and return to our work routine – we suffer from post-holiday syndrome.

Symptoms of post-holiday syndrome

Post-holiday syndrome is not a disease, but a short-term condition. Symptoms include fatigue, trouble sleeping, difficulty concentrating, loss of motivation and headaches. It’s not dissimilar to symptoms experienced with anxiety and depression. The performance low arises because the body is in relaxation mode after the holiday and needs time to get used to the work rhythm again. The longer the holiday has lasted, the harder it is to return to our daily routine. After three days, the syndrome is usually over, and everyday life is back to normal.

Tips to beating the holiday blues

1. Slowly get used to your regular sleep rhythm and wake-up times
On vacation, our daily structure is often very different from our working week with many of us sleeping longer and staying up later. Once our holidays are over, we need to adapt our sleep rhythm to the working hours again. If you have to switch from late riser to early riser from one day to the next, you run the risk of suffering mini jet lag. To avoid this, try to slowly adjust your sleep rhythm three days before you start work by setting your alarm a little earlier every day.

2. Sport and exercise
Exercise is important for good and healthy sleep. Exercise promotes falling asleep earlier and supports the change of sleep rhythm. It is important not to exercise too late, as this might have the opposite effect.

3. Take it slow
Even the most beautiful holiday comes to an end sooner or later. The higher your stress level when you return to work, the more severe the negative feelings that set in when you return to your desk. Try not to start with a busy schedule after the holiday. If possible, treat yourself to a quiet start to your working day and postpone stressful activities to the next day or the day after.

4. Plan for more time-outs
Many things in life work better with planning and structure. By planning your workday to include some downtime between appointments and work, you’ll be able to ease back into the working week. For example, use your lunch break for a walk in the fresh air or go out to eat together with your colleagues. Those who manage to consciously relax more often are generally better prepared for the challenges of everyday life.

5. Be understanding with yourself
If you are suffering from the post-holiday blues, try to be understanding and kind to yourself instead of criticizing or judging yourself. You have become accustomed to a different daily routine through the holiday and now need a few days to catch up with your performance level from before the holiday. Give yourself the necessary time and space to get used to everyday working life again.

The low after the holidays is widespread. After three days, however, it is usually over and you get used to the routine again. If recreation on holiday or over the weekend is no longer sufficient to regenerate from stress, then perhaps more emphasis should be placed on recovery in general! More relaxation in everyday life and frequent small breaks can significantly increase your own well-being.

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