We all look forward to holidays which, as a rule, mean relaxation and carelessness: it is an escape from work obligations, it is the absence of schedules, it is the freedom to have time to enjoy life’s pleasures. However, while the beginning of the holiday can be marked by positive feelings, the end can be marked by difficulties and negative feelings: sadness, lack of motivation, fatigue and irritability, difficulties concentrating and/or anxiety. So we are talking about post-holiday syndrome which, although it is not considered in psychology manuals as a disease or a type of depression, deserves the attention of people and professionals, because it can significantly affect physical and mental health. Thus, if in some cases returning to work is something that comes easily, in others it may be a real martyrdom.
In order to reduce the impact of returning to a routine, I leave you with some physical and mental health-enhancing strategies that can facilitate this transition.
1. Avoid the last day of vacation (outside the house) Whether it’s the day before you go back to work.
2. On the last days of vacation, Get proper sleep hygiene And start going to bed and waking up earlier – gradually adjust your schedules and routines.
3. Plan your return to work: It is important to set realistic goals and objectives to avoid overload. Start gradually.
4. Focus on the positive things and things you are grateful for: Remember the good holiday experiences, but also remember the positive aspects of your routine (at work, family and/or social level).
5. Make time for yourself: Provide yourself with moments of joy and pleasure throughout the year (whether at the end of the day or on weekends).
6. Practice self-carethrough physical exercise, healthy eating, meditation, or any other activity that provides you with physical and mental health.
7. Plan future activities that will allow you to enjoy and relax (Go to the movies, have dinner with friends, spend the weekend away).
It is expected that the feeling of malaise will disappear after the holiday. However, if you do not feel better after two weeks, it is recommended to seek psychological help to understand the symptoms and their causes.
Vanessa Pinto Ribeiro
Clinical and health psychologist at Santa Casa da Misericórdia do Marco de Canaveses
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