The symptoms of a typical hangover following a night of utter debauchery are undeniable. Pounding headache, unnerving nausea, and probably a declaration that you are “never drinking again.” (Because that’s definitely going to happen.)
While the “holiday hangover” is not as frequently mentioned, it still very much exists. This occurs on the day you finally go back to work, school, or wherever it may be, after a much-needed vacation. During this time, it is likely to experience that “blah” feeling of a regular hangover, but magnified to an unbearable extent.
Here are 4 signs that you are suffering through a holiday hangover:
1. Even coffee can’t save you now.
Monday mornings are always a little rough, but caffeine is usually the perfect pick-me-up to get you moving. However, on this particular day, you’re checking to make sure you didn’t accidentally get decaf. You still feel like complete hell, and even when you start to be slightly more alert, you still have zero motivation to actually do anything productive.
Once you are also forced into small talk about your vacation (where you continuously lie “It was great, but I’m glad to be back!”), you decide it’s best to just accept defeat. This day will most definitely never end.
2. Returning to a detailed schedule after no concept of time hasn’t exactly been a breeze.
At various points during my family vacation, I had absolutely no idea what day it was. At first, it was unsettling – then it was great. It was refreshing to finally not be on a strict schedule, and to just let things happen as they may.
Granted, I as also in Puerto Rico, so “letting things happen” usually meant agreeing to margarita buckets at 2 in the afternoon.
Anyway, it always takes a bit of adjustment to get back into the groove after the time off. While it’s nice to take a break from the routine, it can also be slightly concerning when you realize you’re heading the wrong way to your bio class.
Don’t worry – things will go back to normal soon enough. In the mean time, try your best to revert back to your old organization habits. Once you familiarize yourself with what worked well before, you’ll feel less stress about slipping up.
3. Your usual diligence was put to the test, and you sort of feel like a failure.
Maybe you’re usually a health freak, and pigged out on gingerbread cookies over Christmas. Or maybe you pride yourself on being a clean and organized person, and now you can’t even see your bedroom floor. Getting slightly off track doesn’t mean you’re off permanently – so there’s no reason to beat yourself up about it.
Plus, look at this way. We all need a “cheat” day (or week) sometimes, because it reminds us of why we began to work so hard in the first place. There’s no better incentive to keep moving than a minor speed bump along the way.
4. After all the fun was had, getting back to reality has left you feeling kind of empty.
Because your vacation was filled with so much excitement, getting back to the classroom or cubicle just makes your life seem duller than ever. You feel like you are missing out on things – even though in reality, you can’t just live it up every day with the absence of responsibilities. (One can only wish, right?)
So go ahead and curse your blaring alarm clock, and die a little inside when you check out your overflowing inbox. As rough as it may be to get back on the grind following the holidays, remind yourself that we’re all in it together.
Just try not to pass out at your desk – and the post-holiday slump will eventually pass too.