Vacations are considered a way to step away from work, recover from physical and mental stressors, and return more engaged. Although a vacation offers pleasure and rejuvenation in the moment, much research shows that a vacation's positive effects last for only 1-4 weeks. After that, the vacation effect "fades out" and we return to baseline levels of health and well-being.
To keep the positive effects of vacations lasting longer, the research suggests:
- Be active during your vacation. The health and wellness improvements during vacations are stronger for those who engaged in physical activities than those who took passive vacations.
- Share stories. Back at the office, get together with coworkers over breaks or lunch to share stories and look at each others photos. This will keep your positive vacation stories alive in your mind and increase your feelings of social inclusion at work.
- Make relaxing a habit. What did you find most most relaxing and rejuvenating about your vacation? Incorporating these activities into your routine after you return may keep the positive effects of vacation from fading out so quickly.
K�hnel, J., & Sonnentag, S. (2011). How long do you benefit from vacation? A closer look at the fade-out of vacation effects. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 32(1), 125-143.
de Bloom, J., Geurts, S. A., Sonnentag, S., Taris, T., de Weerth, C., & Kompier, M. A. (2011). How does a vacation from work affect employee health and well-being?. Psychology & Health, 26(12), 1606-1622.