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6 Rules For Ultimate Holiday Relaxation

6 Rules For Ultimate Holiday Relaxation

These days, with work hours increasing year on year, it can be hard to actually get time off from work, let alone manage to relax when you’ve finally managed to take a holiday! Indeed, recent statistics from the Institute of Leadership & Management reports that 3 in 5 people don’t leave their work behind when they’re on leave… you’d think no one wanted time off!

The worrying thing is, 73% of people surveyed admitted to feeling stressed about taking a holiday from work. This simply won’t do. Holidays are incredibly important; you need time off to recharge and relax, otherwise you will burn out.

So, how can you ensure you enjoy your time off and and return refreshed?


1. Schedule an hour a day for work… THAT’S IT!

It’s easy to tell you to “get off the grid,” but if you are a workaholic that is more likely to stress you out than relax you, plus it is easier to deal with a couple of mails a day than to come back to an overflowing inbox.
Be very clear with staff that you will be available in the morning for mails and calls for exactly an hour. Deal with all issues then, and have an automated inbox response or voicemail message informing clients who contact you outside of those hours that those are the only times you will be available. It is holidays for everyone, and even in the digital age people are understanding that everyone needs a break!

The rest of the time leave your phone in the bedroom, turn it off, close the laptop, and exhale.

2. Deal with deadlines before they kill you

If you know you have upcoming deadlines after the holiday, you have two options to make sure you don’t worry about them while you are relaxing: deal with them before you go on holiday, or at least do as much of the work as you can, or alternatively push the deadline out for a week or two after you return from work. There will be no relaxing if you know you have work looming over you when you get back.

3. Outsource

Whether you are leaving your business behind or your home, outsource your biggest worries to someone else. Many companies offer virtual PA services, but as an alternative why not hand over the keys to an eager-to-please young up-and-comer who wants to gain some experience and prove their worth? Use it as an opportunity to grow your staff and co-workers a little.
When it comes to leaving your home behind, there are plenty of housesitters out there who can either stay at the house to feed Fido and water the plants, or you can check the doggies into a pet hotel and just have the neighbour come check that the place hasn’t burned down every other day. Leave a comprehensive list of emergency numbers, and as a last thought, leave a clean house behind… nothing is worse than coming home to a mess!

4. Figure in a buffer day

So many people tend to return straight back to work from vacation, even after only arriving on the plane in the morning! This is not a good way to manage your stress levels and can most definitely lead to stress levels rising back up very quickly.

If you can, try and manage your holiday so that you have a day in-between getting home and going back to work. This will allow you to catch up on all your personal admin, get your washing done, get a good night’s sleep and mentally prepare yourself for work the next morning. You can even take a sneak peak at your inbox and start prioritising what needs to be done first thing when you get into work.

5. Stay active

Sport releases endorphins in our system for hours making you feel amazing. It also burns off adrenaline and cortisol. If you haven’t been active for a long time, a sports holiday can be a good time to start. We really weren’t meant to sit for 12 hours a day, so vacationers should alternate periods of “food, activity and rest” to really maximise relaxation and rejuvenation.

Studies have shown that 17 minutes of walking outdoors daily and so-called “green exercise” (physical activity in natural settings) is enough to increase feelings of calm and well-being more than exercising in a gym. When was the last time you went for a walk to enjoy the natural surroundings? Go out and focus on nature!

6. Take a siesta

Seriously - have another margherita, lie in the pool till your toes prune, get a massage, have another pastry, and then go nap. Use this time to indulge and recharge your batteries so that you can rediscover your happy place, and come back to work creatively recharged and motivated to tackle the year ahead! Just for this week, be kind to yourself, don’t worry about the calories, treat your mind and body to a pampering, and enjoy every second. It will be back to work before you know it so really make the most of savouring the experience!

Work to live, don't live to work!

Most of us go into work each day so that we can afford to live and enjoy life. You have worked hard, so you deserve your holiday time. Do not ever feel guilty about going away on holiday – you have earned your time off, so you’d better enjoy it! Relaxing properly is the only job you need to focus on now.

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  • Georgina Roberts
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