THIS week marks the return to work for many who have had the luxury of some time off over the festive season. Feeling relaxed, recharged and rejuvenated people are heading back to their usual routines, with sleep-ins and lazy beach days now a distant memory.
For some, the post-holiday blues has probably set in, with people feeling despondent about having to get back to the daily grind.
When we’re on holiday we spend time doing things just because we want to, rather than what we feel we have to.
Whether it’s enjoying an out-of-the-ordinary late night, a sunset, a long swim or a nap, we say to ourselves that we must do this more often.
But most of us get back to our normal routines once the holidays are over, and forget all about what we promised ourselves.
With most people having travel on their resolution as well as their bucket lists, it’s suffice to say most of us enjoy being on holidays. We don’t need a reminder that having them is extremely beneficial for both our physical and mental health.
When people are away, out of their usual routine and without their important roles hanging over their head, is often when people feel most alive.
It’s always just what they needed. But unless you’re wealthy enough to be a regular traveller, and good for you if you are, the problem about holidays is they don’t happen as regularly as most of us would like.
With the majority of workers being allocated leave for less than four weeks a year leave, most of us are relegated to dreaming about our holiday through our tropical island computer screen saver.
But what do we learn when we pluck ourselves out of our schedule of work, meetings, appointments and the same old dinners routine?
And what are we actually doing for ourselves that is so different that it makes us feel more alive? When you think about it, who want to only be feeling their best on holiday, which is merely a few weeks a year?
To sustain that holiday feeling, we need to be incorporating some of our holiday behaviours into our daily lives, when we are not on holiday. It seems obvious, but many people don’t do it.
We can learn a lot from our holiday selves. It’s also likely that we’re more physically active during the day, something that us office workers tend not to do. Whether exploring new places, hiking in the bush, kayaking in rivers or swimming in hotel pools, we tend to just move our body more.
We are more open to new experiences and tend to be more spontaneous. We don’t just want to watch other people have a good time, we want that too.
We tend to relax more on holiday, on purpose. Perhaps lying by a pool or sunning ourselves on a beach. Sitting in a café sipping coffee and reading the paper without rushing.
We’re also likely to sleep more, allowing our brain and body to get the appropriate replenishing rest it often craves. We’re less likely to stare out our phone late into the night, as we are often more exhausted from what we got up to during the day.
When we go away we tend to engage with people a little more than usual. We often feel more connected to those around us. They get more of our attention and we give them more of ours.
We are not as caught up in our other roles, and can spend quality time with the ones we love. As a result, there are more positive emotions all round.
Often when we are away we get out of our usual dinner routine and indulge in different types of cuisines that we would never try at home. Indulging in new flavours and eat more fresh and healthy meals.
The crazy thing about all of this, is all of this can be done at home. We just need to build it into our life as though it’s important as work, cleaning the house and making spaghetti bolognese on a Tuesday.
So, have a think about what you get up to when you’re on holiday, and try to bring a little more of it into your life today, whilst your back in your usual routine.
That way you’ll not only be looking forward to your holidays this year, but also just going home.