Go on… take a break!

Who doesn’t love a holiday? Nothing beats that feeling of popping on that out-of-office email and taking a break from the ho-hum of everyday life. Whether that means packing your bag and taking to the skies, jumping in the car, or taking that cruise you’ve always wanted to go on.

Holidays are not just a lovely way to spend time, they are fantastic for us on so many levels. Having a break from the daily grind gets us out of our usual routine, opens us up to new experiences and is good for us mentally and physically.

However, the stats tell us that for many Australians it’s been a long time between breaks. Research shows that 23% of workers have accumulated more than 20 days of annual leave, while 13% have more than two months’ of leave accrued.i That’s a lot of missed holidays!

Whether you are one of those who hasn’t had much of a break lately or even if you’ve just got back from a trip and are planning your next one – there are a host of good reasons to take a holiday.

Holiday to keep the doctor away

Holidays have been proven to lower stress which has a myriad of benefits including addressing the risk of cardiovascular issues like stroke and heart attack. A study following more than 12,000 middle-aged men at high risk for heart disease, found those who took yearly breaks were less likely to die from any cause, including heart attacks and other cardiovascular issues.ii

It’s not just physical health that benefits, taking a break is unsurprisingly pretty good for mental health with even a short break of a few days having a powerful mood enhancing effect.iii

Travel to broaden the mind

Lifelong learning is not only good for our careers but also important for our personal growth. Travel is a learning experience like no other, whether you are heading to a new country or a different part of your city or state you’ll meet new people and experience a different way of life.

Travel is also the ultimate experience in mindfulness – you are living in the moment when you are on holiday. A break in routine takes us off autopilot and puts us in charge.

Having a break makes you more productive

If you are worried about the impact a break can have on your career – don’t be! Research by Boston Consulting Group found that professionals who took planned time off were significantly more productive than those who spent more time working.iv Holidays offer time for introspection, goal setting and a chance to recharge your batteries for a new lease on life.

Planning for a wonderful time

Not all vacations are created equal. Just taking any quickly thrown-together escape may not provide all the health and productivity benefits associated with taking a vacation. A poorly planned break can be a source of tension and stress, rather than the opposite.

So how do you get the best out of a break?

Be flexible – While it’s important to plan before you leave, have enough flexibility for discovery – be open to new experiences and willing to change the schedule to accommodate those spontaneous magical moments.

Don’t sweat the small stuff – Things can and do go awry once you are away but don’t let silly little things spoil the break.

Switch off – Don’t be tempted to check your emails or socials every few minutes – stay in the moment. A decent break from work will also reinforce that the office doesn’t need you 24/7 and that life comes first.

Watch the budget but have some allowances to splurge – Focus on experiences and the memories you’ll take home with you rather than what’s on sale at the gift shop or duty free.

And finally, don’t feel that a holiday must be a luxurious destination or for a long period of time to count. A change of scenery can be as good as a holiday – even taking a mini break and heading off for a weekend away to a lovely destination can provide all the benefits of a holiday. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning that next trip. The wide, wonderful world awaits!

i https://www.hcamag.com/au/specialisation/benefits/75-of-australians-arent-using-their-annual-leave/424720
ii https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11020089/
iii https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5800229/
iv https://hbr.org/2009/10/making-time-off-predictable-and-required

Share this blog:

Never miss a story.

Subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated.

A person holding a coffee while doing work on their laptop