Holidays are a crucial component of a successful work-life balance. No matter how many days off a year your employer allows, the time is always limited so you should learn how to truly relax during this period and come back to the office full of energy and ready for new challenges.
1. Don’t be Scared of Tech Detox
Leave all your work devices at home. If you take them with you even if you promise yourself not to check your e-mails, you will! Simply out of routine and curiosity. It’s not a sin not to respond to your work messages, that’s why we have Out of Office! Try also to minimize use of your private devices. Remember that being offline is the new luxury.
2. Apply Mindfulness
Mindfulness is the psychological process that can be developed through the practice of meditation. It tells you to embrace the moment and focus on what is happening now. What does it mean in reality? Simply be aware of how lucky you are sitting in the restaurant and waiting for a delicious dinner to be served, or when you are enjoying the view or chatting with your family or friends. Being present in the moment makes you notice the passing of the time, so you will respect it and try to make the most of it.
Spend time outdoors. We sit too much in the offices isolated from the ecosystem. Get closer to the nature! Inhale deeply the refreshing breeze, feel the sun kissing your skin, walk barefoot on the sand or grass, listen to the trees. Reconnecting with nature has a positive impact on your body, mind and soul. A study from the University of Michigan showed that people that spend 1 hour a day in nature had 20% improvement in their short-term memory. Also, nature has positive impact on our nervous system. Another study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research showed that students that spend two days in the forest had lower level of cortisol, the stress hormone, than those who stayed in the city.
4. Don’t Overcommit
Traveling to a different city or country might be a stressful experience. So don’t set up your expectations too high. You might not be able to visit every single attraction in the country and try all the local cuisine. Don’t put too much pressure on you trying to keep up with the busy holidays schedule. Probably in your day to day life you have already many commitments so my advice would be to pick maximum three main touristic attractions and see visiting them as mission accomplished. Prior planning holidays with other people, ask them what they expect from a good, satisfying holidays so you avoid any possible misunderstandings upfront.
5. Listen to Your Biological Clock
Holidays is a time when you can focus on your biological clock. You no longer need to restrict the standard lunch times and can sleep as long as you want. Listen to your body and follow its needs. An afternoon nap? Such a great idea!
6. Plan a Buffer
Coming back to your professional reality might be tough. Let yourself time for a transition. Choosing a flight back home at 8 pm on a Sunday is not only expensive, but also stressful. Come back home earlier for example on a Saturday, not to be drastically confronted with your routine next Monday morning. You will have couple of hours less for your journey, but you will definitively be more rested.
And what are your tips to achieve “holidays-life” balance ;)?