When the Vacation Ends, It's Time for a Good RestDo you ever feel that you need a vacation after your vacation?
Many of us return to work after a holiday and show severe signs of fatigue － especially in Korea, where summer vacation often consists of a hasty getaway for only three or four days. This is usually due to sudden disruption to our biological rhythm when we abandon our usual routine, and an abrupt change of environment. Here are four effective ways to overcome "vacation syndrome."
Watch Those Siestas
The prime cause of "vacation syndrome" is the disruption to sleeping patterns.
After late nights up, perhaps drinking more than usual, it is natural for you to go to bed and get up later than usual. But because the central nervous system of the brain plays the role of wind-up spring in our biological clock, it is important to try to rise at a habitual time.
For people whose body clocks are used to a 7 a.m. start, it is wise not to rise later than 8 a.m. while on vacation. Excessive siestas while on vacation will also disturb night-time sleep, so try to limit yourself to an hour of rest at most in the day.
You Are What You Eat
If you wish to recover quickly from post-vacation fatigue, stay away from caffeine. It disturbs sleep by stimulating the central nervous system and will slow your adaptation back to your regular schedule.
The good news is that eating plenty of protein-rich foods, such as meat, along with vegetables and fruit regulates the metabolism and provides lots of natural energy. If you feel particularly run down, take a multi-vitamin supplement.
Sores and Saunas
Often, if while on vacation you indulge a little more than you should, or find managing your vacation itinerary is more stressful than relaxing, your immune system can be compromised. This, combined with extra exposure to the sun, can bring on a cold sore － an attack of herpes simplex which manifests itself as a blister around the mouth. Cold sores are a heavy hint that your body needs some early nights, which combined with an anti-viral medication such as Acyclovir taken when you first "feel the tingle" can nip the unsightly sore in the bud.
The fast track to relaxation － a sauna － can actually do your body more harm than good, as you can lose precious salts and minerals by forced perspiration. A moderately warm bath is the best solution to ameliorating fatigue and soothing aching muscles.
The Skinny on Skin
If you suffer sunburn, take a painkiller such as aspirin and treat burned areas with a cold pack a few times a day. Don't apply Vaseline to the skin, as it may heat it up, prolonging recovery times. Stay away from make up until your skin has completely recovered － it can further irritate the skin or even bring on infection.
Lee Mi-kyeong, a dermatologist at Clean Dermatology, a skin clinic, advises that, "Skin that is peeling or chapped after vacation should be cared for with a refreshing toner or face lotion kept cold in the refrigerator."
If your skin is in a serious state of damage, seek professional advice from a dermatologist.
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