For many people, a well-deserved holiday is the highlight of the entire year. In our fast-paced and stress-filled times, this is hardly surprising. After all, it’s much easier to relax far away from familiar surroundings and everyday life. But as happy as we are when the time off finally arrives, most people are distraught when the holiday comes to an end. This phenomenon is by no means exotic and has many names. While in English-speaking countries we speak of Post Holidays Syndrome or Post Holiday Blues, in this country terms like Post Holiday Depression or Holiday Blues are used. In the following, we would like to take a look at the low mood after a holiday and give you tips on how to get out of this slump.
After the holiday is before the holiday: What does that mean?
Employees in Germany are legally entitled to an annual vacation. The Federal Holiday Act stipulates a minimum of 20 days per year, with a 5-day week. However, many employers and especially collective agreements go one step further and promise more days of leave. It is not only employees who benefit from this, as they can put their feet up on the beach. Employers also benefit, at least indirectly, from their employees’ holidays. After all, the holiday entitlement serves the purpose of regeneration. After many weeks of work, employees sometimes deliver noticeably poorer results. The result is that they show up at the office, but their work no longer bears any real fruit. In most cases, the only thing that helps is to pull the ripcord and take a break from work.
Freshly recovered and full of zest for action, you can then face everyday professional challenges again. At least that’s the theory. Unfortunately, the reality is different for some. As the holiday draws to a close, many are already dreading the piles of paper and full email inboxes at work. Once the time off is finally over, the problem is usually even greater. Once you arrive at work, you may hear from your colleagues that you look well-rested. Inside, however, things often look different. The reason for this is that you want or need to start from 0 to 100 again at work. But that is often difficult. Even everyday activities are a big challenge. You just want to return to your holiday destination and suffer from a lack of motivation. Do you know this feeling? Then you are not alone. This is a widespread phenomenon called “post-holiday syndrome”.
“Post-holiday depression”: What is “post-holiday syndrome”?
The slump after a holiday has many names. Scientists speak of the post-holiday syndrome, post-holiday blues, or post-holiday depression. The low mood does not only have to do with the end of the holiday and starting work again. Often there are also problems related to the holiday itself. For many, it is already an imposition if the flight is delayed. If this is the case, Flightright can help you enforce your right to compensation. You have several years to enforce your claim. But even on-site, certain factors can ensure that the holiday does not have much in common with relaxation. Especially if the hotel doesn’t meet your expectations or the weather throws a spanner in the works, your nerves can get the better of you.
Why you should think about the time after your holiday even before you leave?
Of course, you don’t have to accept this holiday depression without a second thought. Instead, you should go on the offensive and do everything possible to keep the problem to a minimum even before departure. But how do you do that? Factor number one that increases the strength of Post Holidays Syndrome is stress. Accordingly, you should keep it as low as possible, especially after the holiday. In the best case, try to keep the first week after the holiday ends as relaxed as possible. If possible, forgo appointments and do only what is necessary. After all, it is the quick start from 0 to 100 that overloads many employees and quickly destroys the holiday recovery. Take it as easy as possible. Another thing that can help is to time your return from holiday correctly. For example, it is not necessarily advisable to arrive back home on Sunday when work starts again on Monday. Give yourself a sufficient buffer of at least two or three days. It can also be helpful to cut the first week of work in half by not having to show up at work until a Wednesday or Thursday.
What to do about post-holiday syndrome?
Post-holiday syndrome can affect everyone to different degrees. Certainly, the severity of the post-holiday blues is also strongly related to how much you like your job. But the cause of Post Holiday Syndrome is almost always the same. For example, many are simply not ready for the stress of work again after the relaxing days. But there are tips against the Post Holidays Blues. We have listed some practical tips for you.
Tips to combat the Post Holidays Blues:
Tip 1: Organize a holiday replacement before the holiday.
To prevent an immensely increased mountain of unfinished work following the holiday, it can be worthwhile to look for a replacement. With the help of a holiday replacement, the stress at the start of work is usually less. All you need to do is ask a colleague to take your calls and answer your emails.
Tip 2: Don’t start work again immediately after coming back from holiday
Experts are certain that the Post Holidays Blues usually result from accelerating from 0 to 100. If yesterday you were still lying on a white sandy beach, today you are already taking care of gigantic paper mountains full of work. This is not only unhealthy for a car engine, but also for the mental state of most people. Give yourself a slow start to calmly get back to everyday life. The best way to achieve this is not to start work immediately after your holiday.
Tip 3: Bring the holiday feeling back to work
The saying “out of sight, out of mind” is unfortunately also true when it comes to holidays. As soon as you start your journey home, the good mood is often gone. Memories of time away can also give you a bit of that holiday feeling at work. For this, it can be worthwhile to put souvenir photos on your desk. You can also take souvenirs back to your workplace or put on accessories you have bought so that you can live off your time away for as long as possible.
Tip 4: Go to bed as early as possible before the first day of work after the holiday period.
You will make your already difficult return to work even more difficult if you are not properly rested in time for your first day at work. For this reason, you should allow yourself enough sleep to be fit to the point. So don’t go to bed too late so that you have full batteries before you start work and are sufficiently prepared for the working day.
Tip 5: Take your time completing your tasks
Many workplaces are characterized by chronic stress and therefore a lot of hectic. This can sometimes be contagious. Resisting it is anything but easy. Nevertheless, try not to get infected by the time pressure. Ask your employer for enough time and communicate openly that you first have to get back to “everyday life”. This open communication is often better received than if, due to the quick start, you turn in inferior work that you have to revise anyway.
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Tip 6: Get off work on time and switch off from work
Once you have completed your first day at work, you should never attempt overtime. This can quickly destroy your freshly filled vacation batteries. Instead, you should finish work on time and never pick up a notebook and a work cell phone again at home. This is important to slowly get back to everyday life.
Tip 7: Schedule regular breaks
You should take regular breaks on the first working days after the end of your vacation. These ensure that you slowly but surely get back into the classic work rhythm. If you don’t do this, you may long for the end of the day before the lunch break. So take it as easy as possible.
Tip 8: Create positive holiday feelings
Our digital age has the decisive advantage that we can look back on great memories anytime and anywhere with the help of our smartphones. This also enables you, for example, to reminisce about the great break during your break. You may also be able to carry out a small holiday evaluation together with a colleague. If you talk to someone else about the holiday, the positive holiday feelings can return, at least for a short time.
Tip 9: Make the end of work relaxing
So that you can switch off from the stress of work as quickly as possible, you should plan a relaxed end of the day. For example, it may be advisable to cook a dish from the country-specific cuisine of your recently visited holiday country.
Why should you create a mental distance to everyday work on vacation?
Anyone who hasn’t been on vacation for a long time will know the problem of not being able to quickly switch off from everyday work. Some employees may even be tempted to check their work email inbox while on vacation. You shouldn’t do that. After all, you won’t be able to switch off from the stress of work otherwise. And that’s what vacation is for. It is better to arrange for a holiday replacement so that you do not have to worry about possible negative consequences of your absence.
How to keep the holiday feeling?
It doesn’t matter whether the holiday lasts two weeks or two months – everyday life catches up with everyone quickly. It can be helpful to prolong the holiday feeling. You can do this, for example, by creating a slide show or a photo album. A look at the photos will quickly bring you back to your dream vacation. With the help of small souvenir pictures at the workplace, you can even benefit from vacation during working hours.
Why is one so tired after a vacation?
In our fast-paced world, many people don’t even have the time to feel how drained they are from work. It is not uncommon for this to result in a sudden burnout followed by a forced break of several months. To prevent this from happening in the first place, regular time off is very important. How exhausted your physical and mental health were due to the stress of work can be seen from the fact that you are so tired after your vacation. The body was simply trying to fully recharge its energy. When you get back to everyday work, it first has to get used to it again.
After the holiday is before the holiday – how can I relax properly?
Taking a proper vacation is something you have to learn. In particular, a healthy distance from everyday work should always be maintained. You are entitled to holidays so that you can recharge your batteries. During your vacation, force yourself not to think about work. If possible, it is best to leave your work cell phone and notebook at home.
What is the maximum recovery time after a holiday?
That cannot be said in general. Unfortunately, the recovery for many is gone after just a few days. What is certain is that you can get the most out of it by taking it easy when you return to work.
Shouldn’t you work at all while on vacation?
If possible, you should drop everything that has to do with work during your vacation. In fact, you are entitled to that. After all, employees are not allowed to work at all during their vacation. There is, so to speak, a duty to recover.
Did you have a flight delay/flight cancellation before or after your holiday?
Of course, negative incidents such as flight delays, flight cancellations, flight rebooking or long waiting times at the airport cause additional stress. Especially if your plane arrived late, the stress you endured has a silver lining in the form of compensation. Flightright helps you to enforce your passenger rights.
How can Flightright help you?
You are stuck at the airport because of a flight delay? Your flight has been canceled, or you have been removed from the passenger list? In each of the situations described, you have a right to compensation as an air passenger.
According to the EU Passenger Rights Regulation, passengers are entitled to compensation in the event of a delay, cancellation, overbooking, or missed connection. You can claim up to 600 euros of compensation per person (minus commission fee). This compensation is independent of the ticket price. Flightright enforces your right for you. If necessary also in court.
As experts on the subject of air passenger rights, we enforce your right to compensation against the airline! Flightright’s air passenger rights experts are also happy to help you with ticket reimbursements