MILAN – Physically burdened, not yet psychologically prepared, feeling apprehensive about the sense of responsibility and weighed down by their workload; for one Italian in 2, as one study by In a Bottle* explains, the return to the city means worry and that the holidays are suddenly already a distant memory. Even as their holidays draw to a close, around 6 Italians in 10 avoid thinking about the usual routine which awaits them; that endless daily grind of home-work work-home, while other thoughts to banish from one’s mind are workplace stress (57%), the return to commuting (42%), and the early morning alarm call (27%). The solution? The experts are clear on this: adequate hydration and the right psychophysical approach are extra weapons to be well-prepared for the return to the city.
The main worries
For 24% of Italians, the holidays are always too short and fly past quickly. There is also the need to get away from it all after an intense year. 18% declare they want to have fun and 19% that they relax like they ought to. However, for one Italian in 2, the run-up to the return to the city is accompanied by anxiety (18%) and worry (31%), 27% say they even feel depressed if they just think about the end of the holidays. As regards the primary “troubles” attributed to the return to work, one Italian in 3 (34%) will find themselves not yet psychologically ready and 18% anticipate the listlessness and poor concentration typical of those who are leaving behind them a break from work and obligations.
The end of the holiday period sometimes has insidious results and the return to work and the daily routine can be uncomfortable – explains Michele Cucchi, psychiatrist and medical director of the Santagostino Medical Centre in Milan – Several studies suggest that 50% of people on leave suffer from this “post-vacation syndrome”. The symptoms are usually characterised by a feeling of tiredness, difficulty in concentrating, headaches, feeling lightheaded, confusion, neurophysiological activity, tachycardia, excessive perspiration, muscle pains, as well as symptoms of a significantly emotional nature, such as loss of enthusiasm, irritability, brooding and broken relationships.
It is then 1 Italian in 3 (34%) who will feel physically weighed down after the “freedoms” permitted by summer, especially with regard to food and nutrition. The holiday often leads to several possible negative effects on health – states Luca Piretta, nutritionist and gastroenterologist, specialising in the Science of Human Nutrition at La Sapienza University in Rome – This is often synonymous with irregular hours, changes in sleep patterns, a tendency to drink too much alcohol (another negative factor for cellular integrity) and sometimes, throwing oneself into extreme or high-impact sports without adequate training or dietary preparation. As regards the latter, there is the risk of returning from the holidays having put on a few extra kilos, especially amongst those who tend to gain weight easily and who, during their vacation, are unable, or do not want to stick to their healthy eating regime.
The 10 golden rules for a seamless return to the city
Regulate mealtimes; perhaps with 5 small meals per day
Increase quantities of seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables
If you are overweight, reduce your calorie intake
Regularly drink water which is rich in mineral salts to maintain the equilibrium of your mental faculties and mood
Cut out alcohol for a month
Avoid excessive physical exercise and practice gentler routines
Re-evaluate your lifestyle to feel more in control of your time
Do not plunge straight back into the middle of the action
Get back into things gradually: not everything you feel you have to do is really that urgent
Do not load yourself up with obligations, but set achievable goals
by editorial staff
*Conducted with the WOA (Web Opinion Analysis) methodology to collect the opinions of around 1000 Italian men and women by monitoring the main social networks, forums and digital communities on-line, in order to compile the anxieties and fears associated with a return to the city, and the opinions of around 30 experts, drawn from amongst psychologists, sociologists and nutritionists, who explain how to manage the post-holiday period.