How to Overcome Holiday Syndrome

Marlon Mai - 15/11/2013

During the holiday season, many people spend the majority of their time eating, drinking, staying up late, watching TV, setting off fireworks, shopping, meeting up with friends and travelling—basically, frolicking to their heart’s content.

A few days of this lifestyle, however, can leave one feeling exhausted, sick to the stomach and reluctant to head back to work. Psychologists have designated this set of symptoms ‘holiday syndrome’.

Symptom one: Full body fatigue

During the long holiday season, many people find themselves staying up late and running around visiting relatives. Even those who stay at home may experience fatigue, as the holidays disrupt their normal biological sleep clocks. Insomnia is a common side effect.
Treatment: Eliminate weariness and readjust your sleep clock with smart use of rest, foot baths and other relaxing activities. Sleep is always the most effective way of getting rid of fatigue—make sure you’re giving yourself enough hours every night. To relax your brain, give yourself a light head-massage or listen to some music. Make an effort to go to bed and get up early. Keep a regular routine. Get an adequate sleep.

Symptom two: Nervous lack of appetite

Eating is a central part of most every holiday, and it’s easy to find yourself constantly dining with friends, sharing a meal with family or stopping for snacks on the road. Amidst this ceaseless enjoyment, however, many people will be confronted with gastrointestinal distress.
Treatment: To prevent symptoms such as heartburn and nausea, take an antacid or other medicine designed to protect your stomach walls. The best way to keep up a good appetite is to exercise—walking, jogging and dancing are all great ways to perk up your hunger.

Symptom three: Work panic

After returning to work following a holiday period, many people are struck with a feeling of strangeness, even panic.
Treatment: After a long period of relaxation, people tend to let their guards down. When coming back to work, efficiency may be affected. During these times, don’t force yourself to adapt too quickly—give yourself a period of adjustment. Your first week back, undertake simple and non-strenuous tasks to buffer the shock. Don’t try to escape just because you hit some work related bumps. In your free time, chat with your colleagues or stretch out, do your best to alleviate pressure. Those who spent the holidays travelling have to contend with fatigue: Do some exercises to get the juices flowing and increase work efficiency.

Symptom four: Loneliness

Watching your friends and family fade farther and farther away following the holidays can leave one feeling homesick and lonely. In these situations, don’t let yourself get too down: When you find yourself missing parents, give them a call. Hang out with your friends. Attend social functions. Absolutely don’t let yourself sink into sadness and solitude.

Symptom five: Holiday syndrome

Treatment: In the days prior to returning to work, lessen your activities. Giving yourself some distance from the excitement and exhaustion of visiting family and having fun will make reentry that much easier. Make some lifestyle adjustments. During Spring Festival, people’s diets can be pretty oily—counteract it by sticking to simple, plain foods in the days before work. Getting to sleep earlier can ensure you show up at work with sufficient energy. If you’re more affected by the holiday lifestyle, or less adept at making psychological adjustments, you should engage in regular and habitual activities (i.e. yoga and tai-chi) to make sure you come back to work in the right state. These activities will help you find your stride as soon as possible.

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