Wednesday, August 19, 2015

TMF Syndrome: it could happen to you

A lot of people are suffering from TMF lately. They might not even know it.  But once you hear the symptoms, you may realize you too are afflicted by this syndrome.
  • Do you find yourself feeling a bit dazed?
  • Do you have mood swings or feel a bit blue for no reason?
  • Are you suffering from thermal shock?
  • Are you a little bloated or have you recently gained weight?

If you've said yes to two or more of these, then keep reading.
  • Are you wondering why you are not doing something fun and visiting some new place?
  • Are you in need of a restaurant experience or decadent dessert everyday?
  • Are you reluctant to unpack your suitcase because it will mean your vacation is truly over?

Ah, now we're getting somewhere.  You, and I, are suffering from Too Much Fun Syndrome.  TMF affects those who have had a rip-roaring time on holiday and now have to face the fact that it is over.  After several weeks of constantly exciting and fun experiences, it takes your body and mind time to re-adjust to everyday life.  The overeating and indulging must stop, goodbyes to family and friends must be said.  The warmth and sun of your vacation time zone yield to the rather chilly and grey weather of northern Europe, in my case.
Can it get any funner than this?

Some cases of TMF are complicated by JetLagitis.  This can be much more serious as your brain still truly believes it is on Central Time.  If you find yourself waking up and not knowing what continent or house you are in, it is a sure sign of JetLagitis.  Wondering why kids aren't in school even though you know your own kid is still in daycare is also a clear indicator (in the US most kids are back in school but not in France).  Wanting to flick light switches instead of pushing them, wanting to sleep all morning or eat a hearty meal at 3 pm are also dead giveaways.

Luckily TMF with JetLagitis complications is not fatal.  It just sometimes feels like you will never sleep properly again and that going to work is the absolute worst thing in the world.  The first day back you might not want to speak to neighbors or anyone.  You may be tempted to cocoon yourself in the false reality of still being on holiday (in my case, a place I still consider home).  Your eyes can tear up a bit thinking about where you were and who you were with just last week and realizing you're not there.

Treatment is varied but actually kind of fun.  Periodically give yourself or the patient food you brought back from holiday (Pop Tarts in my case).  Allow yourself to look at holiday pictures and relive some memories, but don't obsess over it.  And slowly start seeing friends in your current place of residence.  Get out and soak in as much sunlight and fresh air in your current surroundings to remind yourself of the real time zone.

And give it time.  And don't forget to have fun where you live.  Don't save it all up for the next holiday or you could get a bigger case of TMF.

Yours truly, Dr. Milam 


Unknown said...

This was hilarious! I was there, nodding my head, at the beginning thinking 'maybe I have got this TMF'. Now I know what TMF is, I definitely think I have it - going back to work after a summer in England absolutely qualifies!

Lindle said...

I also have TMF & MMF (Missing My Family). We had soooo much fun together, and we did sooo many things, and then "POOF" it's just gone and we have to settle back down, but hopefully enriched by the fun and the chance to hold our loved ones a little tighter and in person. Gotta beat those MMF Blues.
The only cure is PMF (Plan More Fun) for the future.
Luvya, Mom