After the holidays there is a lot of talk about post- vacation syndrome . It is a disorder itself that is characterized by a deep feeling of sadness, apathy and lack of motivation when joining the daily routine after finishing the vacation period.
Although it can affect everyone, there are certain population groups that are at greater risk of suffering from this syndrome. They are those people who show a resistance to the weakest frustration, as well as those workers with a longer vacation period and / or who do not like their work for any reason.
What is post-vacation syndrome?
Post-vacation syndrome is an adjustment disorder that presents symptoms very similar to those of stress . It occurs when, after a longer period of rest than usual, the person is unable to face the routine again.
In general, this syndrome is directly linked to the workforce. However, there are those who suffer it for the simple fact of returning to their daily life, even if this does not imply returning to work.
Who is affected by post-vacation syndrome?
The Adecco Group has recently carried out approximately 1,000 employees in Spain to analyze in depth the post-vacation syndrome, in relation to its prevalence and its effects.
Well, it is estimated that 37% of Spanish workers suffer or have suffered at some point in their lives from this disorder when returning to work after returning from vacation . The remaining 63%, despite not suffering from post-vacation syndrome as such, do experience some moment of stress or fatigue in relation to adapting to work.
This disorder usually occurs in countries where employees enjoy long vacation periods; This is the case in Spain since in a high percentage of cases the annual rest period is concentrated in the summer months.
Causes of post-vacation syndrome
There are a number of causes, beyond the return from vacation itself, that can lead to post-vacation syndrome.
It is important to organize the return to routine and plan the tasks to be carried out both personally and professionally. However, excessive planning can lead to this disorder in those cases in which the person is unable to cover all the tasks that must be carried out .
Bad work environment
The return to the routine is not to anyone’s taste. However, in those cases in which an employee feels comfortable with what he does and has a good relationship with his co-workers, everything is easier.
Thus, a bad work environment can be another possible cause of post-vacation syndrome. What’s more, today it is one of the most common.
Returning to the routine after a vacation period is something that must be faced in the most positive way possible. However, there are those who opt for the opposite and flood their heads with negative thoughts .
Symptoms of post-vacation syndrome
In general, post-vacation syndrome does not last longer than two to three weeks . After that time has elapsed, the vast majority of people who suffer from this disorder after returning to the routine begin to adapt to the routine, thus improving their quality of life.
The symptoms affect both the body and the mind of those who suffer from this disorder, and are very similar to those of stress or anxiety. The most prominent sign of all is low mood ; the person feels down, and is not even motivated by activities they were passionate about before.
In addition, post-vacation syndrome leads to total apathy with close people and co-workers , which can affect social relationships to some extent. Lack of energy is another of the signs of this disorder; the person feels tired even first thing in the morning after having had adequate rest.
And, finally, when entering work, those who suffer from this disorder find themselves unable to cope with the situation, which can lead to anxiety attacks .
In the most acute cases, there are those who need professional help since post-vacation syndrome gives rise to a picture of acute stress. A relatively serious condition that can lead to symptoms such as anxiety, palpitations, sweating, tremors, and irritation .
Post-vacation syndrome in children
Although it is considered a disorder typical of the adult population, the truth is that the post-vacation syndrome also affects the little ones. It is estimated that 7% of children suffer some kind of physical and / or psychological consequence after the end of the holidays.
The most common symptoms in children are the following: fatigue, poor appetite, sadness, irritability, sleep disorders and lack of attention and concentration in class.
Parents can do a lot to make going back to school more bearable. The most important thing is to look for the positive side of the situation and talk about it with your children : meet again with their friends, share hours of games, learn new things … Of course, it is important that a few days before the schedules are adjusted little by little , slightly ahead of time to go to bed and get up.
Preparing for going back to school as a family is also a good idea. The little ones love to buy the material, the equipment… It is essential to make the children participate in the preparations.
And finally, highlight that the attitude of the parents is very important. The adaptation process must be done together. Thus, in no case should parents regret over and over again the return to the routine and the negative consequences of it.
Tips to prevent it
There are a number of tips that are worth taking into account to prevent this disorder as much as possible.
- Activity during the holidays: as far as possible, we should practice sports during our holidays to stay active. If, for example, we have scheduled a few days on the beach with our family, we can spend the first hours of the day walking or running along the shore.
- Returning home: although we all want to make the most of the holidays, experts insist on the importance of returning home a few days before they end. The reason is that in this way we can prepare ourselves both physically and mentally for the return to the routine.
- Adapt schedules: both in the case of adults and children it is important that we adapt to the new work and / or school hours progressively. In this way the incorporation is much less expensive.
- Return to routine: although it is not easy in all cases, we must do everything possible so that the return to routine is as relaxed and calm as possible, avoiding stress.
Tips to overcome this syndrome
If the disorder has already occurred, there are a series of tips to overcome it in the best possible way.
- Accept reality: the first thing to face the situation is that we are able to accept reality; the holidays have come to an end and we must get back to routine. Feelings such as sadness or anguish are a functional response of the body to changes. Thus, the fact that we allow ourselves to cry will not change our obligations, although it can help us to live it in a more relaxed way.
- Realistic Goals – Life’s path is based on goals to be achieved Thus, after the return of the holidays we must set a goal, which must be realistic and achievable; from it we can establish two or more secondary objectives. In this way we will have a greater sense of control, thus avoiding stress and anxiety.
- Organization: knowing how to organize is essential, and when you return from vacation more than ever. Sometimes it is impossible to finish the pending tasks for the day; in this case, the best we can do is write them down in a list and thus carry them out as soon as possible.
- Enjoy free time: the fact of returning to the routine does not mean that we cannot enjoy our free time in the company of whoever we love the most. These moments can be of great help so that the incorporation to the work world is more bearable.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.