Back in the day, a holiday was a week at Nana’s that included eating sweets (calories don’t count when on holiday) and splashing about in the sea. Today, people have forgotten how to switch off, leading to the inevitable crash and burn of their mind and body.
It’s a basic human need
“Diversity is a basic human need. People get bored when their everyday is the same,” says psychotherapist Marisa Peer. Going on holiday and getting away and experiencing change is necessary for a healthy mind.
It gives your brain a break
“Technology has facilitated keeping in touch,” explains Peer. “Without taking a break from your life back home, you won’t benefit fully from your holiday.”
It’s also a time for re-assessing certain things such as the superficiality of life back home compared to the current simplicity.
It means you get to sleep
“Look at animals and how much time they spend sleeping,” observes Peer. “Us humans are the same, we need to sleep and holidays are the rare time we can do so uninterrupted.”
How to make the most of it
For meditation guru Andy Puddicombe, planning holidays may sound like an exotic thing to do, but the truth is it’s pretty stressful.
“Not leaving everything to the last minute will avoid you running across the airport trying to catch your plane. The rush of adrenalin you get from missing your flight or forgetting your passport isn’t exactly healthy, so being prepared will make the whole experience far more enjoyable.”
Comfort not catwalk
When you leave to jump on the plane or train, dress for comfort and not for the catwalk.
You don’t want to be queuing up for passport control in sky-high heels or too-tight trousers.
Comfortable clothing will make you feel more grounded so loosen your belt and put on some flats to feel more at ease mentally and physically.
Trade in technology
Truly switching off is something most people struggle with. They will worry about unanswered phone calls and their inbox filling up with emails. Instead of frantically logging in for updates or worrying yourself sick as to what you’ll have to deal with upon returning, come up with a digital strategy. Take 30 minutes every couple of days to answer emails and check up on things so as not to dread returning to the office.
Out of control
Recognize that most of the things that stress you out when you are travelling are out of your control. From your lost luggage to the rude passengers and delayed flight, Puddicombe’s advice is to acknowledge from the very start that these things are out of your control in order to help you relax.