how to find the rhythm when returning from vacation

All well ends. The end of summer is approaching, which means goodbye to the holidays. It’s time to pack your bags and head home to the real world. Again, back to school, to the office, or to the home office table. September is undoubtedly the month par excellence for the so-called post-holiday syndrome.

Usually, post-vacation syndrome or depression results from a sudden change in routine and returning to obligations after a long period of quiet and rest. While there is a lot of debate as to whether this is really a syndrome or just a shift in our routine, the truth is that its symptoms affect a lot. According to data managed by, the first Spanish online pharmacy on the market, after the holidays, around 6 in 10 workers suffer from fatigue, mood swings, insomnia, sadness, discomfort or lack of concentration. Some of them manage to reduce symptoms on the first or second day of labor; others drag them for up to two weeks.

No one wants to come back from vacation, much less if they know they will be tired and angry or that they will not be able to sleep normally. For this reason, the experts at DosFarma have compiled some tips for avoiding post-holiday syndrome:

1. Do not come back the day before the start of labor

Advice that is only accessible to a few. Sometimes it is not possible to reconcile the dates and we come home just the day before we return to the office. During the holidays, the schedules get out of hand. We eat later, we sleep longer, we stay up late … The body must adapt, again, to the usual schedule. If we do it abruptly, the symptoms of post-vacation syndrome usually appear. But, if possible, it is better to be in our usual environment at least two or three days before returning to work.

2. Adapt schedules as you go

The ideal is to gradually introduce the usual schedules, especially those related to sleep and meals. If for two weeks we went to bed at 2 a.m. and got up at 11 p.m., it won’t be easy to fall asleep if we go to bed at 10 p.m. It will be a smoother transition if, in advance, we prepare for the change: one day we go to bed at 1 a.m. and another day at 12 p.m.

3. Set new goals and challenges

The attitude with which we face the return to routine is also very important. Sometimes the vision of coping with work after days of absence can be overwhelming. To avoid this, you can divide the days into small and realistic goals that are relatively easy to achieve. As we complete them, we will feel better and with more strength to get the next one. There are those who prefer to think of September as “January second” and view the goals and challenges as a new year. This will help us get back to our usual routine with more enthusiasm, since it will not be exactly the same as when we left. This turn in our daily life will make it easier for us to come back with hope.

4. Get moderate exercise

Sport has multiple benefits for the body. Helps control many cardiovascular risk factors, such as hypertension or obesity; reduces the risk of certain types of cancer (lung, stomach or colon) and helps improve certain diseases, such as depression. In short, doing half an hour of exercise five times a week is essential for our well-being. It can be 30 minutes of walking (for example, walking with our pet), cycling or dancing.

But, in addition, moderate physical exercise is very helpful in combating many symptoms of post-vacation syndrome. Sport improves mood, nighttime sleep and the ability to concentrate. However, if we’re not used to exercising, it’s important to start small. To make things easier, it’s best to choose a physical activity that motivates us and set achievable goals to stay motivated. Starting to take care of ourselves can be one of those great goals after the holidays.

5. Make the most of the weekend

Getting back to the office is always difficult, but it will be even more so if you do not disconnect from work. When you return from vacation, don’t forget to rest for the weekend. Plans, excursions or stays can be organized that take us away from the routine. It is important to remember that work is only part of the week.

6. Pay attention to the diet

Many symptoms of post-vacation syndrome can be prevented or alleviated with the addition of certain nutrients. For this reason, DosFarma explains which foods to incorporate into our diet after the holidays and why:

Melatonin for insomnia

Insomnia is one of the most common symptoms of post-vacation syndrome. This is because the body has lost its usual sleep schedule. On vacation, we fall asleep later and usually don’t get up early, so the body doesn’t feel sleepy at the same time. This symptom can be gradually alleviated if the schedules have been adjusted a few days before returning to work, but diet also helps a lot. The key is in melatonin, a hormone that influences sleep. The body produces it naturally, in the pineal gland, and is responsible for regulating sleep and wake cycles.

Melatonin levels are higher at night, so we feel sleepy. Instead, they are weaker during the day when we are awake. For this reason, to get back to regular sleep schedules, you can take a melatonin supplement when we want to go to sleep. There are many supplements that contain this hormone, but it is also found in foods such as cherries, blackberries, strawberries, bananas, rice, or nuts.

Tryptophan and magnesium for fatigue and listlessness

Tryptophan is an amino acid that helps the body to function properly. For example, it is essential for the growth of babies and for the production and maintenance of proteins, muscles and neurotransmitters in the body. Tryptophan plays a very important role in post-vacation syndrome because it helps produce melatonin and serotonin. Melatonin is the hormone that regulates sleep cycles, while serotonin is responsible for appetite and mood. Serotonin is known as the hormone of happiness; when its levels are low, we are in a bad mood or upset, symptoms that accompany post-vacation syndrome.

Unlike other nutrients, tryptophan is not found naturally in the body, but must be obtained from foods or supplements. Eggs, dairy products, nuts, chicken and turkey meat, and bananas are high in tryptophan.

For its part, magnesium is a very abundant mineral in the body because it influences more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps the immune system to be healthy, muscles and nerves to function properly, and bones are strong. Additionally, low levels of magnesium produce feelings of tiredness and fatigue, again symptoms of post-vacation syndrome.

Magnesium can be found in many supplements, but also in green leafy vegetables (chard or spinach), avocado, dried fruits (nuts, peanuts, almonds …) and legumes.

Amanda Dutruc, pharmacist at DosFarma explains: β€œIt is not clear whether post-vacation syndrome or depression is really an illness, like depression. large percentage of people who report feeling tired, listless or irritable when they leave the holidays. For this reason, at DosFarma, we wanted to give some advice to treat these symptoms, with diet and planning as fundamental axes, to make the arrival of September a little more bearable “.

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