Does the summer break already feel like so long ago? If that holiday glow and relaxation didn’t last as long as you wanted, you’re not alone.
New research indicates that the mental health benefits of a holiday unfortunately fade quicker than a tan. The study found that it takes us just three days to get back into our normal level of stress.(i) Fortunately, there are ways you can hold onto that holiday feeling all year round.
Incorporate holiday habits
Morning sleep-ins, days spent outdoors in the sun, having long chats with family and friends, enjoying delicious food and drink, not being tethered to your phone – no wonder we feel more relaxed on holiday than we do in our day-to-day lives!
While most of us don’t have the luxury of sleeping in and turning up to work when we feel like it, you can incorporate some of your holiday habits into your regular working week. This can be as simple as taking regular breaks and scheduling in some outdoors time, whether it’s finding a park near the office, or going on a bush walk on the weekend. You might also like to opt for a screen-free day and instead pick up a book or have a board game night.
Take smaller breaks
Your leave allowance and financial situation may only permit you to take a small time away from work, but rather than just focusing on long holidays, try to also take regular breaks.
This could be weekends away or even just a day spent in a different town close to where you live, acting as a tourist and exploring the area. Just a day of adventuring will add some novelty into your schedule and allow you to unwind without needing to take an extensive period of leave or to travel far.
Rethink your workday
Rethinking your workday can improve your productivity. If you have the flexibility to do so, you may find changing your hours can have a positive effect on your productivity and motivation. For example, if you’re someone who struggles to get going before mid-morning, starting work later can have you feeling fresher and more alert.
It can also help to split your day into 90-minute windows to allow you to focus on a set number of tasks.(ii) Doing so can improve your efficiency and give you more free time as a result.
We all know that excess stress is bad for us, but it can be near impossible to remain relaxed and care-free. Being on holiday and away from our regular lives can provide insight into what we are stressed about.
If the constant beep of notifications on your phone grates on you, having phone-free time can help. Maybe you feel under pressure at work or have an unmanageable workload – can you discuss these concerns with a colleague, boss or HR? A cause of stress can even be not having enough to do and being unsure of your purpose, in which case it could be helpful to reach out to a mentor or life coach for guidance. Whatever it may be, identifying your stressors will help you work towards reducing them.
Develop a positive mindset
Hand-in-hand with being more relaxed is having a positive mindset. Our holidays give us much to feel grateful for, such as the freedom of movement and access to beautiful locations, which we may have taken for granted pre-COVID-19.
In our everyday lives, rather than pining for that next holiday, think about what you are grateful for. This focus on gratitude and positivity makes it much easier to enjoy the day-to-day, and may lead you to adjust your priorities to reduce stress and improve your overall happiness.
We hope you all have a happy, prosperous and fulfilled year and we’re here to help if you need a hand. Enjoy your present, with a positive mindset.