Want to be healthy? Take a holiday.
When was the last time you took a holiday? No, not just a long weekend but a decent break of two weeks or more.
Gap years are becoming more popular with students before they commence the next stage of higher education study or their career. They can explore the world, work as volunteers abroad with underprivileged societies and take a break from having studied for the last 13 years of their life. They return refreshed and ready to tackle university or they ‘find themselves’ during this year and may even take a change from the direction they had intended to go.
If it is okay for students to take a Gap Year, why do adults feel that they can’t afford the time for a holiday? I’m not saying you take a year off – which would be fantastic, however working constantly without a break is not healthy.
I will preface the following by saying that there is a difference between a holiday and travelling.
A holiday, I believe is when you aren’t concerned about rushing around seeing the sights but more interested in relaxing by the pool in summer or fireside in winter and just chilling out.
Travelling is much more exhausting as there is always so many interesting things to see and do that you usually come home and say ‘oh, I need a holiday’!
Here are four reasons why we need to take a holiday to be healthy and why you should schedule them into your life. It isn’t called R&R for nothing.
1. It will relax your mind
Your mental health is vitally important for you to keep functioning at your peak. There is so much talk now about Mental Health in the Workplace and companies are trying to find ways to ease the stresses on their employees. Taking a holiday removes you from your work and home environment and the stresses of day to day living.
You might treat yourself to a massage or have a manicure and pedicure (my favourites), go fishing, walking, relax by the pool.
You are in a new, relaxing environment and within a day or so you can feel you are starting to let go and relax. For some it takes longer than others. Depending how I’m feeling, as soon as I get on the plane or arrive at my destination I am starting to wind down.
2. It can improve your physical health
If you work in an office, sitting at a desk for 8 plus hours a day then taking a holiday can improve your physical health. You are more likely to be active when on holidays as you explore the places you are visiting.
Granted a chill out holiday doesn’t encourage too much activity but you will still be active. In fact, you usually have a far better walking routine on holidays as you have the time and perhaps the inclination. At home, sometimes even a walk is hard to fit into a busy lifestyle.
When we go to the Coast for a break, we usually walk twice a day. The morning is more of a power walk and the afternoon one is a lovely stroll usually by the beach at a more leisurely pace.
3. It helps your relationships
When you are on a holiday there is time to actually talk and communicate with your partner and family. You aren’t constantly on the mobile phone, on the internet or in meetings. (Well you shouldn’t be if you are on a holiday!). My advice is to turn off all electronic communications and only check once or twice a day. YOU ARE ON HOLIDAY – the office will survive without you. If you work for yourself, it is harder to relax but you need to let go and if you plan your holiday effectively the business won’t suffer.
Talk, play cards, board games anything to reconnect with your loved ones. Make plans for the future, including scheduling regular holidays.
4. It will recharge you
After a week or two of chilling out you will be feeling refreshed and recharged. You will feel energetic and ready to get back into reality and work (once you get over the post holiday blues LOL). You should notice a difference at work and be much more effective in completing your tasks.
If you are still not convinced read my post on The Pros & Cons of Cruising as that can be the perfect chill out relaxing holiday.
Now go plan that holiday!
What type of holiday do you find most relaxing? I’d love to hear your suggestions.