One of the hot topics over the last two summers has been the increasingly popular ‘staycation’.
The definition of such may depend on where you are from. A lot of friends and family may seek staycations further afield or some closer to home.
Of course, a staycation can be whatever you need it to be; it may include the seaside, sand, hikes, camping; or even just days full of all sorts or the chance to do absolutely nothing.
Whatever this looks like for you, the important thing to remember is that everyone needs to take a break to look after their wellbeing – rest and recuperation is vital.
I’m sure the idea of going on a recognised holiday is appealing, but there are many health benefits to taking a ‘breakcation’, the opportunity to take time out for yourself.
- Psychological benefits of a holiday from work can last for up to a month.
- Nuffield Health concluded through studies that taking a dedicated break can reduce stress, reduce blood pressure and improve sleep.
- Increase sharpness: When mentally exhausted there is a chance you are not functioning effectively. A dedicated break can give a new lease of motivation and focus.
- If you’re travelling for your break, studies have shown this can help to broaden your mind, increase creativity and personal growth.
- Just having something to look forward to has been proven to boost mood and improve mental wellbeing.
So, this brings us back to the key question: Staycation or breakcation?
Well, the answer, essentially, should be both…
Of course, you want to be able to look forward to scheduled breaks that last a week or two, as you know these can help improve mood, focus, and give newfound motivation for when you return to work.
However, there is a danger in bottling up pressure, waiting for ‘breaking point’ to then take a break. This can then lead to the need for a greater source of recovery that a short break may not be able to reverse (ie burnout).
How guilty are you of saving up your ‘rest time’ for a specific point, possibly ignoring signs of the need to rest until you have completed a tough day/week?
Instead of possibly waiting for a one or two week break a year, can you be aware of the need to instil smaller breaks throughout the year, possibly of a day or two regularly.
Some people are actively aware that they do not have any time off until their summer holiday. Even implementing smaller breaks in your everyday (a breakcation) can ensure you have time for yourself and can help you feel in control of your general wellbeing.
So, whether you are planning to include more staycations or breakcations, here are some tips-
Plan for it
You may be starting to become familiar with our general tips always having a hint of planning imbedded. No matter what you want to achieve, there is a fair chance planning ahead will help you get there.
Optimise your workday
A good way to ensure you do not end up close to burnout and crying out for a prolonged break may come from making small changes to your every day.
Research by ‘Desk Time’ found that after analysing 5.5million daily records on how office workers utilise their computer time, they found that the top 10% for productivity averaged 52 minutes work before taking a break. Working for any longer can lead to cognitive boredom. Plus, knowing you have a break coming up can lead to better focus.
Find the power in ‘NO’-
How often do you become tired out by taking on too much, or not letting yourself take a break at times? There is power in saying ‘no’, of course not to everything, but just taking the time to consider ‘is it something that will help or hinder me?’ may help you to make better conscious decisions.
“Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax”- Mark Black
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