According to a new report, any health benefits gained on holiday disappear within two days of being back at work.
It's as if you never went away
It's that time of year again. Everyone you know seems to be swanning off on their summer holidays, leaving you working away through July. While they enjoy a Thai massage on a sun-soaked beach or relax with family in a British country garden, you are going to be sweating your way from front door to car to work and back again. In a week or month's time they will return to their desks refreshed and relaxed, while you will be as grumpy and stressed as ever.
Or will they? According to a new report, any health benefits gained on holiday disappear within two days of being back at work. Jessica de Bloom, an expert in stress management who carried out the study at Radboud University in the Netherlands, said: "I was very surprised that the health benefits faded so fast." The researchers asked people to report their health and well-being levels two weeks before a holiday, during their vacation and for up to four weeks afterwards. Apparently, the health, mood, tension, energy levels and general satisfaction of the holidaymakers all improved while they were away, yet worsened upon return. De Bloom reported that "it seems workers feel miserable when they look back on the happy times they have just left behind. And if people rush back frantically, then sometimes their stress levels can be higher than before they left. People also get depressed about the length of time until their next holiday."
It seems staycations really are a good idea after all.