Bummed Out on Your Beach Getaway?


It was hot – and I mean hot – the last time I visited Virginia. It was summer 2005 and we were spending the week with family friends. Just before dinner one evening, I decided to check my office voice-mail messages. And then … my cell phone died. I decided then and there to leave work behind during excursions.

Vacations have never been the same since – and that’s a good thing!

Devoting my attention 100% to just having fun enriches my experiences and helps me re-charge, which ultimately enhances my work when I return. 

A recent blog in The Washington Post about “vacation blues,” however, poses the question of how beneficial vacations truly are. Here’s an excerpt:

Turns out a Netherlands study found that many people have trouble relaxing during the early periods of their vacation. And for some, the vacation doesn’t make them any happier than people who don’t go away, reports Marta Zaraska, a Canadian freelance journalist and novelist who lives in France.

Our mood tends to be lowest through the first 10 percent of a holiday, one researcher found.

Another researcher says vacationers might be having trouble enjoying themselves because of “leisure sickness,” which is the inability to relax and adapt to the pace of life outside work.

Zaraska writes that other research shows that “even if we do enjoy our holiday, the moment we return to our home sweet home, the good mood starts to evaporate. Two weeks later, almost all the benefits of a vacation are gone.”

I actually disagree with much of the blog. When I traveled to Florida for a few days (not even a full week) earlier this summer, I was downright giddy at the airport, on the flight and throughout my entire trip. What’s not to love about splashing in the ocean, marveling at palm trees and delicious cuisine?

The part of the blog I do agree with is that it’s sort of a letdown when you get home because that vacation you’ve been anticipating – sometimes for several months – is now over. My cure when those vacation blues strike? Start planning the next one.

What do you think?

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