Five ways to keep that holiday feeling

Psychologists at the University of Granada have even provided a name for the gloom people feel after going away. "Post Holiday Syndrome" describes the anxiety, trauma and upset of having to actually do some work again. Symptoms include tiredness, lack of appetite and concentration, drowsiness, aches, accelerated heartbeat, anxiety, sadness and "a deep feeling of emptiness". To avoid this debilitating syndrome:

1. Build a buffer. Granada researchers suggest building in a period of "re-adaptation" between holiday and work, in which to kick the habit of four-hour long siestas, going to bed at 3am after 10 gallons of of sangria, and wearing your pants outdoors.

2. Change your holiday pattern. Take several shorter holidays rather than a single long one, researchers advise. This tricks you into feeling you've had more holiday in total, and the post-holiday change feels less radical and permanent (although watch out for your carbon footprint).

3. Turn off the telly. Holidays are sociable, but back home it is TV dinners and EastEnders. Psychological studies show that those with an active social life and a sense of community are happiest. So become a volunteer, take up a new sport, join a club.

4. Get outside. One of the feel-good elements of holidays is being outdoors - exercise produces endorphins, sunlight improves mood. Walk or cycle to work, take a stroll in your lunch hour or the evening, buy a dog - whatever it takes to get you out there.

5. Analyse the angst. "Write a list of the main things that are bothering you," says London-based life coach Annabel Purves, who gets many of her calls after holiday periods. "Take one at a time, and think of three things you can do daily or weekly to tackle it.

Think of this not as a depressing return to your life, but as an opportunity to make changes."

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