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Post-Vacation Syndrome: 5 Struggles Everyone Can Relate To After A Long Holiday

Post-Vacation Syndrome: 5 Struggles Everyone Can Relate To After A Long Holiday

We all love long vacations. Sun, sand, parties and exotic island sleep-ins. It’s the time you take to spend your precious work entitlement, let your hair down, and throw caution to the wind- well, that’s what you dream of, anyway. Too often your sun-drenched dreams are shattered as you return to the realities of working life and, typically, to the pile of unanswered emails awaiting you in your inbox.

Emails aside, here are five struggles you’ve undoubtedly encountered at some stage during your post-vacation crash:

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1. You dread being in your own house

After the star-studded splendor of the Hilton and the rigorous attention to detail of the Radisson, your humble abode is hardly a tropical oasis that’s exciting to return to. Time around the pool is replaced by time mowing the lawn, walks on the beach are now walks on the treadmill, and the bikini girls you spent hours watching (narrowly avoiding being caught out by your partner) are now figures of your imagination. You’re back at that place called home, and it sucks. You now remember why TV was invented, and have a new appreciation for the work they do on the TV show, The Block.

2. You realize you’re broke

Vacation’s over, time to inspect the budget. The first day back at work is normally spent trolling through account statements and drinking copious amounts of office coffee to try to fill the gaping hole in your stomach- a hole caused by the slow realization that your hard-earned savings were stolen by Santa. Well, actually it was you acting as Santa and buying all those treats for the kids, the pamper session for your wife, and that duty free computer you had to have at the Los Angeles International Airport. No amount of liquid luck can hide the fact that your healthy bank balance just had a stroke, and it’s up to you to administer CPR.

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3. You feel time has slowed

In the days following your return from vacation, you seem to have had trouble with that fancy Rolex you purchased from a friendly gentleman in a tailored suit standing on the sidewalk of a busy street in Baghdad. You are sure that it’s running slow, and are considering your options for a replacement, when you realize it’s not the watch, it’s just that life seems slow and boring compared to your vacation. Oh well. You take solace in the fact that there could be nothing wrong with your beautiful, brand new watch… Wait, is that “Rolox” inscribed on the back?

4.  You daydream a lot

While you’re sitting in your office at work, you hear a knock on the door and your boss enters, holding a big yellow file. He’s red in the face, and shouting something at you, and all you can manage to do is smile, wave, and walk out the door. You leave the building with the idea of selling everything you own, jumping on a plane to a tropical island somewhere, and living off fish and coconuts while spending every day on the beach with the sun in your face.
Then you wake up.
It’s not the boss, it’s your co-worker inquiring about the blank look on your face, and cautiously asking if everything is OK, as it seems to have become a regular occurrence. Rats. Another lunchtime daydream spoiled. But wait, your Rolox says you’ve got time for one more…

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5. You realize that you’re a cog in the machine

Blinded by the euphoria of travel, and the expectation of adventure, excitement, and an unlimited supply of Coronas delivered to your hammock by attractive wait staff, during your vacation work took a welcome sideline seat. But once the party’s over, and the reality of life sinks in upon return from your vacation, you seem to see things in a whole new light. Suddenly, that task that you’ve been assigned seems trivial, and you wonder how the 700 other people in your office can stand coming in day in, day out, to work in a place where you don’t even know what your CEO looks like in person. The free beers from the friendly bar manager at the “Rio de Beerto” inspires you more than the establishment you work for when you realize that here you really have no greater purpose than to make the shareholders rich, and your clients happy. Oh well, at least there’s free coffee in the staff room down the hall…

Featured photo credit: Travel | Kathmandu | Nepal via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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