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Are you systematically ill at the start of your vacation? It’s no wonder, and it’s called “leisure disease”. We explain to you.

Every year, it’s the same thing: barely arrived at your vacation spot, you start coughing, have a runny nose, watery eyes and a sore stomach… But what is happening to you? Why are you systematically sick at the start of your leave?

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Do not panic, this “disease” has a name: it is the syndrome of “disease of leisure”, or “leisure sickness” in the language of Shakespeare.

Studied in particular by clinical psychologist Ad Vingerhoets (from Tilburg University, in the Netherlands), this “disease” actually results from a biochemical imbalance: in summary, when we work intensely all year round, our body constantly produces norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that keeps us in “fight” mode.

Pressure that releases… and makes you vulnerable to infections

Yes, but here it is: when you arrive on vacation, all of a sudden, the pressure is released and you suddenly stop producing this “booster” norepinephrine, which you need so much during the year. The body then becomes vulnerable to infections and that’s when you catch a little cold, a little conjunctivitis, a little cystitis… In short, you get sick.

How to avoid “leisure sickness”? Unsurprisingly, the psychologist Ad Vingerhoets recommends people who live at a frantic pace to “slow down” during the year, at the risk of falling ill on the first day of the holidays.

By taking breaks during our working day, doing mindful meditation or sports, or even really enjoying our moments of rest (that is to say: without a smartphone!), we can get our bodies used to changing rhythms… without catching the first virus that comes along. CQFD!

Source : Tilburg-University

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