How to Make the Most of Time Off This Holiday Season
As we approach the holiday season it’s important to think about how we can make the most of our free time so we return to work well-rested and refreshed after the festivities. Here are some top tips to take advantage of your time away from work this holiday season.
‘Fail to plan or plan to fail’, – is one of my favourite sayings but it’s also very true. It is always good to create a plan even when you have a couple of weeks off. It’s all too easy for our free time to be frittered away and days just blend into one another.
If you’re planning to see family or friends plan your journey in advance allowing some contingency to deal with potential crowds or other hold-ups. Try to avoid doing everything last minute and be realistic about your time. Add some structure to each day and set yourself one or two goals, even if one of them is to veg out on the sofa!
If you’re going away plan what you need to take and pack in advance to make sure you have everything you may need. This way you won’t be discovering that you’ve run out of your favourite shampoo a few minutes before you’re due to leave.
Rest and Relax
Build some time into each day to just do nothing. It can seem daunting at first, but in our busy modern lives where we have endless stimulation and calls on our time. Planning some time in to do absolutely nothing can be truly magical.
Think about the things you’d like to do to truly relax – an hour of yoga or meditation, sitting and watching the world go by, reading or just taking a catnap.
Talking about sleep, the festive holidays are a great time to catch up on some sleep. A good night’s sleep is essential for your health, just like eating and exercising.
We can all get burnt out towards the end of the year. This is a great time to just build in some early nights and a few cat naps, without guilt.
Disconnect from e-mails and phone
Whenever possible, try to limit your access to the internet, e-mails, phone and just turn them off. Smartphones are great, but they sometimes create stress, especially when you can’t separate your daily life and work life.
Follow the golden rule: Don’t bring your work on holiday but if you have anything that can’t wait then allocate a set amount of time to work through them and then you’ll have the rest of the day to enjoy yourself.
Have good eating habits
The festivities traditionally bring with them lots of extra food and drinking and you should still enjoy the wonderful meals that you’ll be invited to share over the holiday season. However, try to focus on as healthy a diet as possible with lots of fresh produce. Use mealtimes as an opportunity to talk and connect with the people around you.
Catch up on your reading
Holidays are the perfect time to pick up that book that you’ve been meaning to read all year. Emerging yourself into a good book is a great way to switch your mind off from day-to-day life and is a great way to de-stress. Research by Sussex University suggests that the simple act of reading a book can reduce stress levels by up to 68% in only 6 minutes.
Get outside and get active
Time spent in the fresh air and ideally in nature is always time well spent. Take some time to layer your warmest clothing and get outside for those great local walks, with or without your favourite pooch.
We all know that exercise and time outside have many benefits. Combining exercise with some great scenery and has been shown to reduce the risks of disease and improve an overall sense of wellbeing.