If you feel as if you always get sick when you take time off work, you’re not alone! Taking time off work is good for your health and wellbeing, but there’s nothing worse than being poorly when you’re supposed to be relaxing.
You’ve just finished work for your summer holiday, your suitcase is all packed and ready to go, but you suddenly feel dreadful. You’re hit with cold and flu symptoms, aching joints and fatigue. We’ve all been there. And there’s nothing worse! Spending your well-deserved time off, stuck in bed with a Lemsip and hot water bottle is nobody’s idea of fun.
So, what causes you to get sick when you’re off work? Well, there are lots of factors that lead to you getting poorly when you stop working. One of the key factors is stress hormones.
Stress Hormones Can Affect Your Health And Wellbeing
When your stressed, it is often adrenalin fueling your immune system and keep your body going for as long as you need it. But when you very suddenly come to a stop and start to relax, it throws your hormones off balance. This then affects your immune system and makes your body vulnerable to bugs.
Similarly, being overly tired can also make you sick. Your immune system can only fight off bugs for so long. When you’re exhausted and suddenly give your body time to rest, it can lead to nausea and headaches.
Pre-Vacation Pressure Won’t Help Your Health And Wellbeing
The weeks leading up to your time off tend to be even more stressful than usual. Not only are you under pressure to get all of your work completed, but you’re also trying to plan for your time off. Pre-vacation stress gets to many of us.
The little spare time you have is spent shopping for last-minute holiday essentials, booking attraction tickets and packing etc. When your days are filled with work and your evenings are filled with must-do tasks, your body is running on adrenalin.
When you finally come to a stop and start to relax, your hormones are extremely unbalanced, and your body is trying to adjust to the sudden change.
Travelling Can Affect Your Immune System
Travel sickness is extremely unpleasant. Travelling can be a hectic and tiring process. The last thing anyone needs is to be sick when they’re travelling. Also known as motion sickness, travel sickness is caused when someone’s body is trying to make sense of motion, but the senses are conflicting.
For example, when you’re on a bumpy coach or a turbulent flight, your eyes see one thing, your muscles feel something different and your ears hear something else. This confliction of sense causes people to experience nausea, dizziness and often vomiting.
Travel sickness is relatively common and can often be prevented with motion sickness tablets. Ginger is also a great home remedy for motion sickness, perhaps sip a ginger tea whilst travelling.
How To Look After Your Health And Wellbeing And Prevent Yourself From Getting Sick
If you’re planning a few days off or have a holiday booked, you really don’t want to be getting sick. If you put your health and wellbeing first, it’s unlikely that you’ll get sick. Here are our tips for preventing yourself from getting sick when you’re off work:
Relieve Stress By Properly Preparing For Annual Leave
Preparing for annual leave doesn’t have to be a hectic, stressful experience. The key is to be organised and give yourself enough time to get everything sorted. This way, you’re not worrying at the last minute. Our blog on How To Prepare For Annual Leave has plenty of tips to help you enjoy stress-free (and hopefully sick-free) time off.
Wind Down Before Your Time Off
Instead of allowing yourself to get stressed when your body is at its most vulnerable, concentrate on winding down. Ensure that you get plenty of sleep, enjoy gentle exercise and don’t drink too much alcohol.
Plan, Plan, Plan
Planning ahead will make the whole process smoother and will prevent you from getting stressed and poorly. At work, delegate your work projects early enough to leave yourself with time to tie up loose ends.
At home, try to plan your time off weeks before instead of leaving it all to the last few days running up to your time off. If you’re going on holiday, ensure everything is organised in advancing including insurance, airport parking etc. Shop for your holiday essentials a couple of weeks before and get ahead of your packing.
Planning ahead will allow you to get things done and still have time to wind down before your time off work.
Look After Your Body
This one is simple. You should be looking after your body every day, and even more so when you’re planning to take time off work.
Stay away from anyone who is poorly, particularly in the workplace where it’s often a confined space. Wash your hands regularly and use hand sanitiser. Wipe down your desk with an anti-bac wipe at least once a week.
Drink plenty of water and prepare healthy, home-cooked lunches for work. Its all too easy to grab something from the shop, but it isn’t usually as healthy.
Perhaps start taking multivitamin and mineral supplements in the weeks running up to your holiday.
Get In Touch
Looking after your health and wellbeing can you help you stay healthy and enjoy your time off work.
If you want to find out more about ways you can relieve stress, look after your health or prepare for an upcoming holiday then simply get in touch with Wellspace today.
Wellspace are the leading experts in workplace wellness, so we can help you improve your workplace wellbeing.