Stress blog

Do vacations alleviate stress or exacerbate it?

By Edward T. Creagan, M.D. July 23, 2010

Need more help?

If the stress in your life is more than you can cope with, get help right away.

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Go to the nearest hospital or emergency room
  • Call your physician, health provider or clergy
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness
    1-800-950-NAMI (6264)

Half of Americans in a recent poll said they were more exhausted after going on vacation than they were before they went. Seems that relaxing is hard work. What can you do?

Some of my colleagues deliberately take vacation days but stay at home. They spend their time doing relatively low-stress things like visiting museums or playing nine holes of golf. They thereby avoid the stress of travel — the lines at the airport, the rental car mix-ups and the resort that looked great online but turned out to be a dump.

Or maybe your problem is that you can't stop thinking about work when you're on vacation. If you're stressed out by being out of touch, then go ahead and log on for 60 or 90 minutes. But then pull the plug and reengage in some recreation.

Everyone needs time away to recharge their batteries. So how do you make sure you come back from vacation refreshed and not exhausted?


Edward T. Creagan, M.D.

Follow on Twitter: @EdwardCreagan

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8 Comments Posted

July 23, 2010