BY TIM HEDGLEY, GROUP TRAVEL EDITOR
- The term “holiday recovery” has seen a spike in search popularity amongst Brits in 2022, with interest around the term rising by 66% compared to July 2021.
- Despite the idea of holidays being a time to recharge, the effects of travelling can take a toll on the body, as can holiday eating and drinking habits.
- 81% of Brits say they have felt unwell on their holidays because they ate too much, whilst 65% admit to drinking more alcohol on their holidays.
- The summer months see Brits searching for the term “hangover cure” in numbers only beaten by the post-Christmas period. Protein-rich foods high in cysteine, as well as foods rich in folate and potassium, can help aid recovery after drinking.
- The stress of travel, the impact of sudden climate changes and the crowded environment on aeroplanes often cause “travel flu”; staying hydrated, getting plenty of sleep and ensuring your diet is high in iron and antioxidants is key.
- Online search interest in “holiday stress” has more than doubled in the past four months; returning from a holiday, it’s important to get back into a routine and make time for self-care to avoid post-holiday blues.
The Top Holiday Recovery Tips Brits Are Searching For
Summer for Brits is the season of festivals, holidays abroad and camping trips. It’s a time to disconnect from work and live our best lives; despite this, it seems like an increasing number of us are struggling with the return to day-to-day routine following our summer adventures. Google Trends data shows that 2022 is the year that people in the UK are looking more than ever for ways to get on track following their summer holidays; the search term “holiday recovery” has seen a steady year-on-year increase each July over the past four years, with search popularity rising by 66% between July 2021 and July 2022.
So why are more Brits than ever looking for ways to recover from what’s meant to be a period of recharging and relaxation? Read on as the wellness & nutrition specialists at Made4 Vitamins break down why you might be feeling more worn out than ever coming back from your holidays and the steps you can take to ease your transition back to normalcy.
Holidays can be a great opportunity to experience different cultures and meet new people; that being said, they’re also a chance to let loose and enjoy plenty of good food and drink. In fact, over a quarter of Brits say that they eat more than twice the amount of food they usually would when on holiday, with 81% saying that they have felt unwell because they ate too much. Meanwhile, Brits drink more alcohol on holiday than any other European nation, with 65% drinking more than they usually would at home. If you’re struggling with the effects of a week of drinking and eating out for breakfast, lunch and dinner each day, you’re not alone; each summer sees Brits blearily reaching for their phones to search for terms like “hangover cure” in volumes only beaten by the post-Christmas period.
If you’re looking for foods to help get you back on track after a summer holiday bender, try starting with fast-acting carbs and protein like scrambled eggs on toast. Protein-rich foods provide a source of cysteine, an amino acid which will help your body break down the toxic byproducts of alcohol, whilst carbohydrates will increase your blood sugar and help ease hangover symptoms. Over the first few days following your return from holiday, make an extra effort to eat plenty of fruit and veg; not only will this help you hydrate after consuming alcohol and food with high salt content, but foods such as spinach, banana and avocado contain essential nutrients like folate and potassium which your body will be low in during the days following a drinking spree.
Warding Off Post-Travel Flu
Post-travel sickness is a recognised effect, often known as “leisure sickness” within the medical community. But why is this phenomenon such a common occurrence? Reasons why you might feel sick following your holidays can include a weakened immune system from the stress of travel, the impact of sudden temperature and climate changes upon your body and the low-humidity, crowded environment on aeroplanes causing the perfect environment for spreading infections.
When you come back to the UK, ensure you give your body everything it needs to fight off any viruses you might have picked up on your travels. First and foremost, drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is important to maintain healthy production of lymph, a fluid containing white blood cells to fight off illness, and can also help lower fever. Getting plenty of sleep is also vital, as exhaustion has been linked to a 50% increase in your risk of viral infection. Meanwhile, make sure your diet is high in iron, which will boost your immune system, and antioxidants, which will minimise UV damage after your time in the sun and help prevent sickness, supplementing if you’re struggling to gain the right micronutrients through your regular dietary intake. You can also take 5-HTP, a naturally-occurring amino acid which will assist in regulating your mood and sleeping patterns, important for getting back into regular sleeping habits following the erratic schedule of a holiday as well as re-adjusting to the UK’s time zone after travelling abroad.
Making Time For Yourself
With news that over a third of Brits are on the verge of burnout, it’s more important than ever to make sure you don’t let the rush of getting back to your responsibilities back home take away from your wellbeing. After coming back from a holiday, it can be all too easy to end up stressed and overworked as you attempt to catch up with everything that you’ve missed whilst you’ve been away, from work to laundry. However, it’s essential to make time to relax, unwind and do the things you love – after all, for all the talk of holidays being a time to rejuvenate and recharge, the intensity of putting all your holiday plans into action, getting travel documents sorted and navigating new and unfamiliar locations can take a mental toll if you don’t allow yourself space to recuperate once you’re back. Online search interest in “holiday stress” has more than doubled in the past four months as the holiday season kicks into gear; meanwhile, searches around the term “self-care” have increased by over 650% between July 2017 and July 2022 as more people become aware of the importance of taking time to take care of themselves.
Remember to set boundaries as you return to work and day-to-day life; even if things are busy, ensure you have a set period of time each day to yourself to do something that lets you unwind and reflect on the day, whether that’s cooking, cycling, reading or yoga.
Getting Back Into a Routine
We all know the feeling – after building up to your dream holiday for months, it’s finally over and you’re faced with that listless feeling of “What Next?”. Online interest around the term “post-holiday blues” predictably spikes each year in August as holiday-goers settle in back home and try to re-acclimate themselves to regular life. Getting back into your health, self-care and fitness routines is crucial not just for the physical benefits they bring, but also to provide the regularity you’ll need to get back in the right headspace for a return to normalcy following your holiday.
Although January is known as the month where everyone tries to get into new fitness routines, June 2022 saw a huge spike in interest around the search term “daily routine” when it came to health and fitness-related topics, according to Google Trends data, with 24% more search interest in the term during June than during the January New Year period earlier this year as people rushed to buy gym memberships. Although the upcoming holiday season in June may have provided you with extra gym motivation, make sure when returning from holiday not to forget the fitness goals you were working on before your break. Hitting your targets and making progress once again will help alleviate those dreaded post-holiday blues and give you something to work towards.
Dr Bhasha Mukherjee, Medical Lead at Made4 Vitamins, comments: “Holidays may be a much-needed change of scene and a chance to travel and experience new things, but that often comes with a physical and mental toll that shouldn’t be ignored. When returning from holiday, ensure you’re paying attention to a diet that contains the right macro and micronutrients, supplementing where necessary, as well as staying hydrated and sticking to a regular sleep schedule to help alleviate post-holiday burnout or illness. It’s equally vital to take care of your mental health; a growing body of evidence is showing the positive impact that factors such as a self-care routine can have on mental wellbeing, which is key when dealing with the stress of re-adapting to a regular work schedule or your usual time zone.”