Back in 2012 researchers in the Netherlands conducted a study in an effort to measure the effects of vacation length on levels of happiness and well being. What they found was that the positive effects of vacations hit their highest point by Day 8, and that these benefits tend to dissipate within the first day back at the office.
With findings like this one can’t help but wonder how to extend the benefits of a vacation after it comes to an end. This great think piece from The New York Times, written by a professor of clinical psychiatry, discusses the findings of these Dutch researchers as well as his own take on how to maximize the benefits of your vacation time even after returning to work. The point he drives home is quite simple but profound: By truly immersing yourself in the experiences of your time off rather than focusing on documenting it or sticking to your itinerary, you can return to work with vivid lasting memories that allow you to hold onto the feelings that you enjoyed so much during your time off.