Before the vacation season began in Denmark and Sweden1, media were full of reports about the dangers of going from work to vacation – as it was, people tend to suffer minor depressions and other stress-related discomforts, partly because it takes a couple of days to get into vacation mode, partly because people (or at least some people) have too high expectations.
But now – as the season ends – experts tell us that going back to work can be just as dangerous: Apparently one in three Spaniards suffer from post-vacation syndrome, a parallel to the feared post-traumatic stress syndrome.
As I’ve never held a “real” 9-to-5 job in my life, it is a bit difficult for me to relate to all this, I have schedules and deadlines, but I have never been tied to a desk for eight or ten hours without a break.
Maybe people would be better off without vacations – but by all means throw in the odd public holiday for good measure -, provided they had better chances of controlling their own work schedule in their daily lives? Another way of coping with vacation stress may be to remember that you are supposed to have a good enough time, not a perfect time.
By the way: David Plotz wants us (or rather the US) to get rid of August. That’s July to the Scandinavians.
- In the Nordic countries, July is the usual vacation month. In fact, most of Sweden is closed down from mid-June to mid-August. [↩]