The Benefits of a Well Earned Break
With the school holidays beginning on Monday and various public holidays falling during the school vacation period it is timely to reflect on the benefits of taking a holiday or a mini holiday during this time. When I speak of holidays I am not necessarily referring to a luxurious overseas trip or even a local getaway. I simply mean taking time to stop, rest and enjoy some time to nurture yourself and your family.
There are plenty of good reasons for having a holiday and many of them have to do with improved health and wellbeing. I have listed a few of the benefits, and for those who feel guilty about taking a break, the evidence suggests that the time spent away from work is certainly worthwhile.
Time and space for creative thinking
We lead such busy lives that it is really hard to stop. We live in a world full of distractions and opportunities to just sit and be are difficult to find. A holiday is often the time when we do just that. Holidays provide us an opportunity to sit and relax without feeling guilty. This in turn allows our minds to wander without distraction. We can then allow our creative selves to emerge resulting in improved problem solving skills and a much calmer approach to life.
Getting away from daily stresses can often put the issues we are stressed about into perspective. There is a saying that you should meditate for one hour and if you don’t have time meditate for two hours.The same rule applies to taking a holiday - if you don’t have time to take yourself away from work for a day, then you need to do it for a week. The point is that we all need to gain perspective and taking time away from our regular routines provides this.
Good for your health
Holidays are really good for our health. Studies have shown that holidays can reduce the risk of heart disease in both men and women. They can also improve our mood by reducing the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline, which are responsible for the fight-or-flight response. The take out message is that holidays are good for health across a range of areas.
Quality time with loved ones
Most importantly, holidays provide opportunities to spend quality time with family and friends. Having an extended period of time, without distractions and while feeling relaxed provides opportunities for relaxation, plenty of talking and great fun – so have a great holiday over the Easter season.
Dr Frank Pitt
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