If you’re counting down the days to Christmas and holding out for your summer holiday, you’re not alone.
Over the past couple of years, the pandemic, subsequent lockdowns and changing lifestyles have taken their toll on our physical and mental wellbeing. So, if December finds you feeling more emotionally and physically drained than ever before, give yourself a break and take the time to recover and recharge over the holidays.
Here are our tips for turning off work and recharging the batteries:
Do an email detox
Unless it’s necessary, commit to not checking your emails during your holiday. Set up your auto reply before you head off and then switch off. For many of us, the idea of abandoning the regular email checks can be fear inducing but it’s worth pushing yourself a little here if you want to give your brain a rest. Remember that your auto reply should tell people when you return and when you’ll be able to respond – you’re entitled to take a complete break and surprisingly, most things can wait until we return to work.
Sleep and sleep
Whilst it may feel like you’re wasting time, most of us are at least a little sleep deprived, particularly if we’ve been locked down with additional stressors and children in the house twenty four seven. It takes most of us a good week to start really unwinding on a holiday and that’s during a ‘normal’ year. So, this year, do yourself a favour and factor in extra time for sleep and doing absolutely nothing. Your body and mind will thank you.
Yes, we know it’s the season of overindulgence but take it easy on the alcohol and fast food. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying yourself but try to do so in moderation. When we’re physically and mentally wiped out, our bodies need healthy food, lots of water, rest, and exercise. Building in some alcohol free days and increasing our intake of fresh fruit and vegetables will help balance out the Xmas treats.
Commit to device free days
As challenging as it may be, committing to days where you’re device free can have a significant impact on your wellbeing. Think about how much time you spend staring at your screen, whether it’s social media or the latest news, and consider disconnecting for a while. As well as not being ‘on’ the whole time, you may also notice that you start to form deeper connections with those around you, and that your sleep improves.
As mentioned earlier, unwinding can take time so it’s worth remembering that what you’re feeling when you leave work for your holiday is not neccessarily what you’ll feel after a week on holiday. A good break allows us to gain perspective, particularly when it comes to stressors we’ve faced during the year. Give that perspective a chance to develop and avoid making any big decisions – you’ll be in a better space for decision making when you’ve recharged body and mind.
If you’re heading away on holiday, try and build in a day or two at home before you return to work. This will give you plenty of opportunity to catch up on things that have slipped during the year and allow you to feel more in control. Whether it’s decluttering your living space or budgeting for the year ahead, your future self will thank you if you start off the year well organised.
We’re often our own worst enemies so if you’re struggling to put all the above into action, take a deep breath and regroup. It may be that you successfully implement a couple of our tips and for that, you should give yourself a pat on the back. Be kind to yourself and those around you and you’ll find yourself in a better space, ready to face 2022.