You probably know what it’s like; day after day you’re working hard and during the weekends you have all sorts of obligations. When you finally get a week off, you get sick. About 3% of the people get sick during their holidays. Do you always get sick during your holidays? Read more about why this happens and what you can do to prevent it.

Time to rest

During your holiday, your body is generally supposed to get some time to rest. It’s the ideal time to do the things you love to do and to spend time with your family and friends. But, for some people their holidays are times in which they experience several complaints; such as exhaustion and nausea or flu symptoms. Because of this, they’ll have to spend their well deserved holidays in bed.

Research shows that relaxation after a period of stress increases the chance of several diseases. Acute stress can temporarily strengthen certain defense mechanisms in your body. This allows your body to delay the disease, until the acute stress has passed. Your body knows that there is no time to get sick during a stressful period, and chooses to protect you from that. But as soon as your body notices that you sleep in or don’t open your work laptop, it’ll realize that there is time for recovery. The activated defense mechanism can take it easy again and you get sick during your holidays.

Stress at work

Your adrenalin production can increase during stressful times at work, but for some people this can remain high even after the stressful event has passed. This will prevent you from relaxing during your holiday and could cause several complaints. Besides that, high working stress can also have a negative effect on several bodily functions that are responsible for the balance in your body. When the stress suddenly disappears, these bodily functions are sometimes unable to restore the balance on time, which causes you to fall ill.

How can you prevent this?

There are several things that you can do to prevent getting sick during your holidays. First, you can think of making sure that you don’t experience too much stress at work. How can you do that? It’s important to have enough breaks and to try to reduce your stress as much as possible during these breaks. You can make a list of things that take away your stress, and do one of these things during every break. Think of breathing exercises, meditation, going for a walk, dancing, playing soccer, listening to music, watching a video or calling a good friend.

Smooth transition from work to holiday

Secondly, it’s good to try to make the transition from work to your holiday as smooth as possible. For example, make sure that there are no important deadlines right before your holiday, no big projects need to be finished and don’t do overtime. Try to make sure that the last day before your holiday is already a bit calm and relaxed. Next to that, you can try to remain your routine during your holiday by getting up on time, taking walks every day, exercising or making sure some personal obligations are done. This will help you have a good transition from work to holidays.

Enjoy your work

Next, it’s very important that you enjoy doing your job and that it gives you a sense of satisfaction; because this also helps you release stress! Try to look at the things you like to do at work, and whether it’s possible to spend more time doing this. Also take a look at how you can make your other tasks more enjoyable. For example, if you have to make a lot of phone calls, try to make those conversations as much fun as possible. Doing something nice for your colleagues can also improve the atmosphere at work. Lastly, you can try to make a game out of certain work goals, in which you reward yourself for achieving them. I hope these tips will help you stay healthy during your next holiday!

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Carmen Santegoeds

Hi, my name is Carmen and I am a psychologist at PsyQ Online. I strive to offer a treatment in which cooperation, trust and achievable goals are paramount. Outside of work I like to travel, dance and hang out with my friends.

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