Taking a trip abroad, relaxing on a beach, shopping with friends, meals out, spending time with family; there are endless different ways we could spend our holidays… But now returning to work, it seems feeling low and lacking concentration is something that affects many of us, with new research finding that post-holiday blues impact us for on average five days when returning to work!
A study off 2000 British workers by British Summer Fruits looked into the effects of returning to work after a holiday and discovered that it also takes us on average 4 days to return to our normal productivity level or even as long as 10 days for 1 in 10! With the memories of holiday fresh in our minds, there were clear signs of a knock-on effect on our concentration, with nearly a fifth admitting to mistakes in work , 16% missing deadlines and 15% spending more time on social media in their work time. Even our toleration levels took a hit, with the study finding the following factors irritated respondents:
- sound of an alarm clock (56%)
- never-ending email inbox (41%)
- jam-packed commute (21%)
- putting socks back on (18%)
- colleagues’ handovers when they are off on their holidays (18%)
Although we seem to be well aware of the impacts of food on our mood (70% were aware), bad eating habits take place when we return to work and feel a bit low, with 33% of workers stating they indulge in junk food and these bad habits can stay around for as long as nine days! The study explains how we should be swapping the chocolate, biscuits and wine for fruits to boost blood flow to the brain to increase our productivity.
The leading nutritionist on this study, Dora Walsh, explained that snacking on sweets will only exacerbate our low mood and concentration levels by providing just a short sugar high, followed by a ‘crash’ soon after. Berries were found to deliver the boost we need by supporting the brain function. Dora explains the scientific benefits as follows, “Berries are high in resveratrol polyphenols which keep our blood flowing to the brain – essential when trying to catch up on a week’s work and battle the dreaded email inbox. Good blood flow increases alertness which can improve cognition and brain function.”
Don’t be part of the 38% who choose to do nothing and just wait for the post-holiday blues and lack of concentration to pass, follow Dora Walsh’s five top tips to keep your brain active in the workplace:
- Have at least 20 minutes of sun a day to boost your serotonin levels
- Take regular breaks to ensure productivity
- Practice deep breathing to oxygenate your brain and boost alertness
- Snack on healthy foods including berries and nuts
- Stay hydrated or your performance could decrease