The weeks of lazing about blissfully on the beach, intense hiking in the mountains, or any other way of spending a vacation without the need to wake up at the certain time is all about recharging your batteries. However, the thought of going back to work is stressful. Does this sound familiar?
Post-holiday “blues”, meaning the sadness that comes after a vacation, is defined and located in the English-language version of Wikipedia. This bad mood can last from a few days to several weeks and the source of sadness flows the moment you return from a good holiday and realize that long months of monotony and routine are ahead. The first tip of therapy is: be patient.
Every change is stressful
Most often, when holidays end, there are descriptions of the symptoms of tension and tips about how to neutralize its causes and effects all over the net. Meanwhile, psychologist Dr Marcin Florkowski leans toward a statement that we should not demonise returning to work after holidays: “Making a diagnosis is just nonsense. It is inconvincible that changes in life cause stress and switching from one rhythm to another can be difficult. So, if we come back from a long rest, this is what we are dealing with. It can also work the other way around. This means that many people face problems during the first days of their holidays. They toss themselves from corner to corner and do not know what to do with themselves. And when their days off are free from responsibilities or duties, they lose reality and peace, and moreover, they may, for example, reach for alcohol. This is due to boredom, which in psychology, is also a form of stress. A long period of doing nothing may be more tiresome than work, and then they return to the factory or office with relief,” the psychologist says.
A deeper cause
How about those who are longing for a holiday? First, they count down from months and weeks, then from days and hours, and after that, they are finally happy and leave work. They rest and enjoy every day that is free from tasks, goals, reports, or bosses. This blissful time only lasts until they realise the vacation is coming to the end. Then, the fear of working every day appears, again and again, and that each morning will be the same ...
Boasting about holiday experiences and a nice tan in front of coworkers isn’t enough. This is because the fear of professional monotony and the corporate treadmill is strong and can take away the vigour gained at the beaches on the Canary Islands or on Tatra's hiking trails.
“If someone treats a return to work with such pain, the cause may be deeper and could suggest more than just a problem with accepting a change in life's rhythms. Sometimes, hiding under the cloak of problematic professional duties is the fact that the work done is simply not ours. Every day, we force ourselves to do something that we are not predisposed to do, and from the perspective of a few free weeks, we can see the difference between desires and reality even more clearly and it cuts even deeper. There is, for example, the teacher's paradox: an educator who cannot stand kids. In this case, annual leave doesn’t even help. Because the eagerness to work with passion for the next few months disappears after three days and the same fatigue and discouragement syndrome with which the teacher struggled before the beginning of the one-year break returns,” says Marcin Florkowski.
Do not jump into too deep water
Coming back to work can be quite problematic even for those who do not have any fears regarding their professional and everyday life. To be suddenly thrown into duties is not the best idea for the first day after a few weeks of rest. Moreover, psychologists do not recommend “jumping into deep water.” It is worth gradually changing from the rhythm of a holiday to a more normal one. The first day should be treated as an adaptive day and it's better to not take too much on that day.
Sometimes it's just worth it to slow down
Even if the return to work is painful, everyone needs a holiday. And it is not because the Labour Code states it. “Everyone, even the strongest and the most suited to work at the highest pace, must sometimes slow down and get some rest. Otherwise, the body itself will force you to take a break. And it will not be nice. Fatigued people are often vulnerable to illnesses - those who seem to have something more significant on their mind than holidays. Meanwhile, health is the most important," warns Robert Sapa, the GP. “Medicine costs less than holidays. However, such thinking can quickly become destructive as lost health can't be restored. If you can't afford to go on holiday, you do not have to go abroad. It is a good idea to get some rest.” assures Robert Sapa.
Holidays mean abandoning not only professional duties but also changing the rhythm of life, which - especially in big cities - has become more stressful.
“Researchers have noted that metropolitan area residents are walking faster than they did decades ago, even when they are not in a hurry. Such involuntary pace is probably related to the fact that everyday life has become more demanding and stressful, which does not have to do with work,” says psychologist Marcin Florkowski.
We travel more often and we spend much more money than we used to
“GUS has informed, that in 2016 the inhabitants of Poland amounted a total number of 64.3 million trips at least one night long. This was 2.1% more than last year. According to the statistical office's data, domestic travel dominated and reached 51.5 million. Poles travelled abroad 12.8 million times, mostly for five days or more,” said Bartosz Grejner, Conotoxia analyst. “34% of all travelling was during the holiday months - July and August. According to Eurostat, on average, Poles spent 502 EUR on foreign trips in 2015. This is over a half of the size spent by Swiss or French citizens. In turn, the average spending of our western neighbours (Germans) was 841 EUR per trip, which is slightly above the EU average of 756 EUR,” informs the Conotoxia analyst. “Poland, in this classification, is in the tail of EU countries. A bit less was spent by Czech (396 EUR), Romanian (388 EUR), Latvian (355 EUR), Slovenian (328 EUR) and Hungarian (312 EUR) travellers,” calculated the analyst at Conotoxia, the online currency exchange service.