This post about The Let Down Effect is part of a sponsored conversation with Ricola Herb Drops and SocialStars. All opinions are my own. #RicolaCrowd
Everyone already knows that the holidays are a time of serious stress, right? You spend weeks shopping and wrapping and baking. Then you end up getting very little sleep and probably eating more cookies than you really need to be eating. Forget about those vitamins you are supposed to be taking and who in the world has time for exercise, right? And, if you are like me, you traveled somewhere really fun but were then exposed to new germs that your immune system has never seen before. All of this can add up to post-holiday illness and something that scientists call The Let Down Effect. Keep reading to learn more about this interesting health phenomena and to learn how Ricola can help you deal with your post-holiday illness.
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The Let Down Effect and Post Holiday Illness
What is The Let Down Effect?
The Let Down Effect is basically a pattern in which people come down with an illness or develop flare-ups of a chronic condition not during a period of stress but after the stress dissipates. Basically, you stay healthy all the way through December only to succumb to some horrible illness the first week of January. Or, you stay healthy through the vacation planning and the actual trip, only to come down with something the day after you finish unpacking.
The curious part of the whole Let Down Effect is that DURING the stress….even if it lasts for weeks…you stay healthy. But after the stress is over and life is back to normal, that is when illness strikes.
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The Let Down Effect and the Immune System
I won’t get into the science of The Let Down Effect in great detail. However, all you really need to know is that stress causes our body to ramp up our immune system and increase inflammation. When we de-stress too quickly, our bodies freak out a bit and the resulting biochemical changes can cause a severely weakened immune system. Our bodies then suffer from things like colds, flu, depression, headaches, stomach upset and a ton of other issues. The best way to prevent The Let Down Effect is to schedule a ‘buffer day’ between your vacation and going back to work. Use that day to exercise, rehydrate, take your vitamins and get a good nap in. Of course, post-holiday illness may still descend and dealing with a cold when you have to go back to work isn’t always fun.
Cold, Wet London Weather is NOT Good for my Health!
Dealing with Post-Holiday Illness
We always plan a buffer day when scheduling a vacation to try to ease our way back into our normal schedule. However, sometimes I get sick anyhow. I just got back from London last week and at least a dozen people from my trip are already being diagnosed with the flu, strep throat, and bronchitis. JOY! I am praying I don’t succumb to any nasty germs this week but just in case, I am taking a few steps that might help.
The biggest thing you can do to avoid post-holiday illness is to get back to your healthy living routine quickly. Yes, my house is a mess. Yes, there are 6 loads of laundry waiting to be washed. But, going to the gym was number one on my post-vacation to-do list. Along with getting back to my healthy eating routine and (sadly!) giving up those European pastries ever morning. <sigh> I really did love those pastries!
If for some reason I DO succumb to The Let Down Effect, I have a medicine chest stocked with Ricola Dual Action cough drops to see me through my scratchy throat and irritating cough. Ricola Dual Action Cough Drops are a multi-symptom cough drop that provides relief for coughs and sore throats, all in one drop. They combine a unique blend of ten natural Swiss alpine herbs, natural menthol and soothing syrup center for fast, safe relief you can trust. You can choose from two delicious flavors: Swiss Cherry and Honey Lemon.
Taking a vacation can be good for the soul, but sometimes it can also lead to illness. Before you head out on vacation, consider stocking the medicine chest with a few bags of Ricola Cough Drops just in case!
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.