Have you ever felt like you were more tired after traveling for a holiday than you were before — that you need a vacation after your vacation?

Apparently that’s normal — and there’s a scientific explanation for it.

“The issue is that you’re making a shift from the daily rhythm of vacation mode (sleeping, waking up, and eating when and where you want to) to work or home mode (getting places on schedule regardless of whether your body particularly wants to or not),” NBC News reported.

“They’re two very different paces of life and we usually need an adjustment phase to shift from one to the other,” Dawna Ballard, an associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin, told NBC News.

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Why do we still feel tired after a vacation?

Greater Good, a University of California-Berkeley-based science magazine, discusses how returning from a vacation can be a lot like high-intensity interval training.

In this training, long periods of exertion are followed by short periods of rest — meaning your heart rate never fully goes down. When we do the same with our lives and have long periods of work stress mixed with short periods of rest or vacation and then go back to work, it can cause burnout. According to Greater Good, this can almost erase the benefits of the time off, with the restful feeling gone much sooner than we would like.


How to make the rest from a holiday last

Below are some ideas that can help to mitigate feeling tired right after a holiday, according to NBC News:

  • Get your house and work in order before going on vacation.
  • Give yourself a buffer before going back to work or life responsibilities.
  • Keep the memories of the vacation alive.
  • Take advantage of the renewed energy a vacation can bring.
  • When you get home, start planning that next vacation.
  • Keep the vacation spirit alive — even at home.