05/23/2014 12:04 pm ET Updated May 23, 2014

Your Vacation Is About To Disappoint You

Martin Barraud via Getty Images

So: Memorial Day is fast approaching. Ideally, a long weekend lies ahead; perhaps you’ve even wrangled yourself an extended vacation. Well done, and no doubt well deserved! Just one thing: Don’t expect the effects to last.

Perhaps one of the most depressing findings in social science (and yes, it’s been replicated many times over) is that the glorious, sunshiny glow we acquire during a holiday tends to fade with astonishing rapidity. In fact, even during vacations, our enjoyment tends to peak between 40 and 70 percent of the way in, much in the same way that our weekends feel best between Saturday afternoon and Sunday brunch; after that, it all starts to feel like borrowed time, bittersweet.

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