We all love to take a break. In order to be at our best, holidays are very important. They open the doors to many positive benefits that greatly add to health and wellbeing.
Research shows that apart from being enjoyable, there are many physical and mental benefits from taking a holiday, some lasting up to 2 months after you have returned and even longer when the new perspectives gained inspire lasting change in your life. Here are my top seven benefits of taking a break.
1. A holiday is a time to relax, recharge and refresh.
2. They are good for health. Improvements in sleep and physical health markers like blood pressure have been shown to persist long after returning. They can reduce anxiety and rumination as people spend less time focusing on what stresses them in daily life as they break routine. A positive holiday experience can change how you feel about life and boost satisfaction in all areas - from love to work, family life and relationships.
3. Holidays offer us the chance to spend time with family and others we love that we do not get during the year. They also give us a chance to explore hobbies, interests and dreams that excite us.
4. They have been shown to boost genes and can also change how our genes function. Scientists from the Icahn School of Medicine in the University of California and Harvard found that just 6 days away from home triggers genetic changes which dampen stress, boost the immune system and lower levels of proteins linked to dementia and depression. And some of these beneficial effects were still apparent one month later.
5. Holidays boost creativity. When we take a break from our daily life, we go back to it with new ideas and perspectives and energy to solve problems and progress personally and professionally. Time to reflect gives us new viewpoints on where we are and where we want to go and offers a great opportunity to launch new changes in your life.
6. Wellbeing related tourism, breaks and retreats are becoming increasingly popular. Their health related benefits are shown to be even greater as in addition to all the usual ones, they offer a greater relaxation and rejuvenation experience and give us the tools like meditation to alleviate stress in daily lives way into the future.
7. Holidays contribute to general mental and emotional wellbeing. People return from holidays less burned out and stressed and more energized and ready to engage and get on with life and work. Holidays make for happier, harder working and more engaged people at work, rest and play.
Holidays are necessary and have great potential. They give you a chance to catch up and pursue things that are important to you that you don't get the time to focus on during your daily routines. They also offer a fantastic opportunity for reflection and when you return, you can see your life with new eyes and awareness.
Holidays are a big investment of time and money. They should add value to your life in some special way whether it be - by having fun or being rejuvenating, energising or giving more time with family. They can open doors and show new paths and solutions to problems. When planning one, design one that will benefit you giving you things and experiences you value that you are not getting enough of in your normal routine.
To get the best out of them understand what experiences will add to your life. And when on holiday remember the saying: 'Everything in Moderation, including moderation'. And most importantly. Enjoy.