As summer fades away, youâ€™re hopefully reflecting on a relaxing vacation you took over the past few months. Now, think about it: Were you scared to tell your boss? How about your colleagues?
Putting off telling co-workers that you have a vacation planned is pretty common. As Karen Firestone, CEO of the investment firmÂ Aureus Asset Management, wrote in Harvard Business Review, â€œAs another summer comes to a close, I find myself noticing once again that my co-workers and employees have been very reluctant to both commit to a vacation and to communicate that time off to everyone else.â€Â
This isnâ€™t entirely surprising, if you think about it.Â Surveys have found that Americans are â€œscaredâ€ to go on vacation, and 40 percent of us donâ€™t even plan on using all of our paid time off.Â
â€œFundamentally, whatâ€™s going on there is fear,â€ Michael Leiter, a psychology professor at Acadia University who focuses on work attitudes, previously told HuffPost. â€œPeople are afraid if theyâ€™re not present and theyâ€™re not continually churning stuff out that bad things are going to happen.â€
If youÂ ?doÂ ?plan on using your vacation days â€” and you should, since studies show that taking time off helps your problem-solving skills and makes you happierÂ â€” make an effort to give your co-workers a heads up. You donâ€™t want to leave them hanging, do you?Â
Â H/TÂ Science Of Us
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If you cleared your fridge before you left, youâ€™re in for a little I-have-nothing-to-eat panic when you get home. â€œThe last thing I want to do when I get back from a trip is go to the grocery store,â€ says Jessica Crandall, RDN, spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and Wellness Center Director at Denver Wellness and Nutrition. â€œSo I order groceries online â€“either while Iâ€™m still on vacation or before I leave â€” and schedule the delivery for the day I get back.â€ This also eliminates the temptation of ordering a pizza with everything or roaming the supermarket aisles while youâ€™re starving. (Research inÂ JAMA Internal MedicineÂ found that people who went to the store hungry bought nearly 45 percent more high-calorie foods compared to non-ravenous shoppers.)
Feeling like you gained weight on vacation is normal, but thereâ€™s good news: You probably gained much less than you think (research suggestsÂ that on average, people gain less than a pound over the holidays, so your week away canâ€™t have been that bad), and much of it is likely water weight. â€œWe eat out a lot more on vacation, and restaurant meals tend to be high in salt, so you retain fluid and feel bloated,â€ Zanini says. (Restaurant meals actually pack more sodium than fast food options, according to a recent study in theÂ European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.) Once youâ€™re back home, staying hydrated can help your body flush out the extra fluids â€” that means drinking enough water to keep your pee a light-yellow color. Youâ€™ll also want to avoidÂ overly salty foods. Crandall recommends instead high-potassium picks like melon, beans, artichokes and spinach. Here are six more foods to eat when you need toÂ beat the bloat.
You probably werenâ€™t feasting on fruits and vegetables, which means your regularity took a hit. Indulging in foods you wouldnâ€™t normally eat can make your stomach temperamental, says Lori Zanini RD, spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the founder of Lori Zanini Nutrition in Manhattan Beach, California. Fiber can fix both. â€œYou get the gut back on track and you feel better immediately,â€ Zanini says. Itâ€™ll also help you feel more satisfied after eating. Fill your post-vacation meals and snacks with high-fiber picks like beans and lentils, vegetables like broccoli and Brussels sprouts, fruits like berries and pears, and whole grains.
The last thing anyone wants to do after playing catch-up on the first day back is cook a time-consuming, nutritious dinner. Enter the most wonderful of kitchen gadgets: the Crock-Pot. Do as Crandall does and set your alarm 20 minutes earlier than usual on your first full day back, throw the ingredients in and head out the door.Â Hereâ€™s a recipeÂ that fits the bill.
After a week away, typical portions might look a little puny and you might be a little (or a lot) hungry. Powering through until itâ€™s time for your next meal isnâ€™t always the best approach though. â€œAim to eat every 4 to 5 hours, but if youâ€™re hungry 3 hours after you finish your balanced lunch, your body is telling you that it needs energy,â€ Zanini says. Ignoring it means youâ€™ll head into your next meal with a bigger than normal appetite, and, in her experience, be more likely to overeat.