How to get over the post-holiday blues

No one jumps back on the plane home with a spring in their step do they? And going back to work isn’t exactly a walk in the park after two weeks of lying horizontal on a sun lounger.

But according to new research, the post-holiday blues lasts for a average of five whole days (even though it might feel longer). And it takes about four days to reach our usual levels of productivity at work after a holiday.

A woman travelling back home after a holiday

The study of 2,000 workers, conducted by British Summer Fruits, also found that one in 10 took 10 days to get back into full work mode.

Nearly a fifth admitted to making mistakes on important work and missing deadlines. One in six spend more time on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram than doing actual work after a holiday.

Two people looking sad
Two people who REALLY don’t want to start their commute to the office (TheeErin)

The study also found that with beach body fears behind them, a third of people gorge on junk food for nine days after a holiday, with only a quarter trying to eat healthily to combat the blues.

Nutritionist Dora Walsh said: “Low mood and low concentration are key symptoms of the post-holiday blues but a snack of sweets will only exacerbate this by giving people a sugar high and an almighty crash soon after.”

A desk full of chocolate
(Ioan Sameli/Flickr)

Healthy snacks like nuts and fruit, particularly berries, can help combat the post-holiday slump.

Walsh said: “Research conducted this year found that berries can support brain function by helping to prevent mental decline. They’re high in resveratrol polyphenols which keep our blood flowing to the brain – essential when trying to catch up on a week’s work and battle the dreaded email inbox. Good blood flow increases alertness which can improve cognition and brain function.”


Apparently Brits aren’t as sympathetic about colleagues’ post-holiday plight. Rather than offer support, more than a third would let a colleague suffer and two fifths would tell them to pull themselves together. Too right.

To get over the post-holiday blues Walsh suggests having 20 minutes sunlight a day when you’re back at work to boost serotonin levels, staying hydrated and breathing deeply at your desk to boost alertness.

Or you could book your next holiday pronto.

Three people jumping on a beach

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