How to make sure you’re actually on holiday

Workplace and wellbeing

18 July 2016

A recent study by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) found that we spend an average of 29 days per year using our mobile devices to work from home – that's equivalent to our entire allowance of annual leave.

Worse still, the CMI say those who work long hours are three times more likely to be stressed and thus are most in need of a good holiday.

In today’s hectic working environment, many professionals feel the need to be ‘always on’, even when on holiday. So if you struggle to switch off, or need to recharge your own batteries, try these top tips for a really refreshing holiday from work.

Visit a dark spot

It might be the first thing you ask for at reception, but your hotel's Wi-Fi code is the last thing you need. Switching off your devices is considered healthy for your relationships, sleep, focus and productivity. Just remember to switch on your email auto reply and record a new voicemail message before you leave.

Don't be blue

Can't face giving up devices completely? At least avoid them for an hour before bed. Blue light emitted by phones, laptops and e-readers affects our natural sleep cycle by preventing the brain from releasing melatonin, the sleep-inducing chemical.

Focus your brain

Being taught a new skill will help switch your focus away from work and onto your holiday. And there are plenty of activity-based getaways out there to choose from, whether you fancy learning how to handle a surfboard or make small talk with the locals in their own language.

Embrace your creative side

Having the time and headspace to think about non-work related things will give you the freedom to get creative. Studies have shown that making art can reduce stress levels – so, pick up those paintbrushes and get inspired by your surroundings.

Get outdoors

Simply viewing a natural scene has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety and blood pressure. Not to mention the health benefits of clean air and, if you head somewhere sunny, vitamin D. So, there are plenty of reasons to enjoy the great outdoors before returning to work feeling refreshed and productive.

Whatever your profession, it’s important to take time for yourself and take a holiday from work. So unplug, leave the work emails in the office, and take a well-earned break!