We’re such a country of hard workers and upwardly mobile, always-on-the-go sorts that it seems we can’t even relax when we’re on vacation. According to the Wall Street Journal, a recent Expedia.com survey revealed that only 53% of those of us who work come back feeling rejuvenated after vacation, and 30% keep thinking about work the whole time we’re away.
Some sad sacks even come back more tired than they were when they left, likely because they’ve worked the whole freakin’ time — and others get “sick” by trying to relax. Apparently, there is even such a thing as leisure sickness, defined by fatigue, muscle pain, nausea and flu-like symptoms (this sounds to us more like a “hangover,” a/k/a you’ve simply relaxed a bit too much, but we’re no medical practitioners).
According to stress researchers, the symptoms are real. The withdrawal of anxiety is similar to withdrawal from steroids — meaning that all that energy and angst and tension and rrrrrr! you have related to your job dissipates when you head off on vacay, leaving only … nothingness, which of course brings on more stress. What a pickle we’ve gotten ourselves into.
The good news: If you have the sort of high-energy personality that’s going to get agita from lying on the beach with a frosty glass of something delicious, you can always jump off a plane or climb Mount Everest or something. Or go to a sandy spot on the Gulf, where you can multi-task by collecting tarballs and de-greasing pelicans as you enjoy the view.
For fun, see if you’re a workaholic here! With acceptance and modifications, you and your loved ones may be able to prevent negative lasting effects.
Frankly, all this talk of stress kinda makes us feel better about sitting on our ass in front of a computer all summer.