Everyone needs a holiday, time to unwind, forget about the stresses and strains of working life and relax.
A problem many people have, is they can’t let go and their minds drift back to unsolved problems and imagined crisis that may develop when they are away from work.
I blame technology which has made work accessible 24 hours a day 7 days a week. How many of you can’t switch off from work even on your own time?
Never switching off from work is contributing to a spiralling crisis of stress.
The American Institute of Stress estimates job stress costs the US economy about $300 billion in lost productivity every year.
And according to online travel company Expedia, just 53% of workers come back feeling rested after they’ve been on holiday.
Even in these strange times it is still possible to have a holiday and recharge your mind, body and build up enthusiasm for the future if you follow some simple steps.
Delegate and communicate before you go
Although it can be difficult letting go, don’t feel like you have to do everything at work yourself. If you’re concerned about your workload before you go away, delegate tasks to others and communicate why. This should help you focus and prioritise on the tasks that need to be done before you go on holiday.
On the last day before your holiday, understand that it’s okay to say no. Don’t take on extra tasks or responsibility as this will create additional stress and make it harder to relax once you’re away. Take time to focus on the important tasks you already have, then complete them and leave for your break with no worries on your mind.
Go offline from work
Switch off the work phone, leave the work laptop behind and ensure people know you are on holiday. Far too many of us switch on the phone on holiday even for a few minutes each day and one simple message, text or email can ruin our entire day if not the holiday. Everyone is entitled to downtime and if people can’ t cope without you for a short while then that’s their problem not yours.
Start your holiday aware of what you need out of your time off. Set out your intentions for your holidays beforehand or within the first few days. What do you want your holiday time to do for you/give you? How do you want to be feeling at the end of it?
You should take this approach to weekends, retreats or short trips away too.
It might even be an idea to just jot down a few ideas for you and your loved ones, such as:
Your holiday time is precious so spend it in the best way possible for you and your family not your business. Don’t be afraid to choose people and activities and places that best fit you (and therefore avoid people and places that don’t fit you right now). Remember when you go on holiday It’s ok to say no and not be available. You don’t have to do everything.
More than anything, our body needs movement. While we often worry about getting to the gym or doing enough aerobic exercise, it’s actually too much sitting and sedentary work that is really the problem. We need movement and It’s easier in the holidays to do this. Take walks to the local store instead of a drive and find time to wander.
It may be that what you need most these holidays is some time to recharge and recuperate from stressful times. Our body heals and replenishes beautifully when we give it enough rest. Everyone’s idea of rest is different, so choose what suits you best, no matter if it’s just reading a book, watching a boxset or simply watching a sunset, do what feels right for you.
I hope these tip help and remember You owe it to yourself to take a proper break. Just make sure you take this rest both mentally and physically and return refreshed for the opportunities ahead.
John Joe McGinley Glassagh Consulting September 2021