Take a holiday break

Do you take regular breaks and have you planned your next holiday break? Sally and I discuss the overflowing number of benefits from getting off the hamster wheel and breaking up your daily grind with taking a break. Reducing stress and burnout is a massive benefit and by implementing small, medium or long term breaks it helps you maintain a well balanced and healthy life. Have a listen – perhaps it will inspire you to plan a break. Half the benefit is from knowing you have a break coming up and is something to look forward to and keep you going!

We learn to switch off to constant “noise”

Your brain gradually stops registering any constant stimulus. This is part of your survival mechanism to filter out unwanted and unneeded stimulation. Examples include:

  • Those living under a flight path learn to ignore the noise.
  • Subway commuters accommodate their noisy journeys.
  • After a long cloudy spell, the feeling of the sun on the skin initially feels great. Then that nice feeling fades as your system accommodates to it

A short holiday break improves performance

Research confirms that short breaks sustain attention and productivity while working or studying. This is because ” The body becomes habituated to the feeling and the stimulus no longer registers in any meaningful way in the brain.” [1]

For instance, the Integrated Listening (iLs) programs that I use are so effective because they avoid you getting bored by the music. These programs achieve this by continuously delivering unexpected and unpredictable tone changes in the music. This novelty amplifies and sustains the impact on the nervous system. It also stimulates a larger and longer lasting positive change.

Weekends away refresh

Many of the families I see are increasingly stressed. Some are in chronic stress and so time-poor that they can only spend “quality” time with their children. Chronic stress undermines your health and wellbeing. It undermines your capacity to resist infection, sleep well and digest your food. Long-term stress is dangerous because it can cause chronic disease, reduce mood and lower performance.

So breaking the stress cycle with a break is beneficial. A weekend away with family or friends can relax you, give you a new perspective and  reduce your stress.

Holidays sustain renewal, productivity and wellbeing

A sustainable level of stress (eustress) is beneficial. This is because it keeps us energised, motivated and interested.

But the absence of stress can sap our vitality by generating an enduring boredom  found in some retirement villages or old people’s homes. Many of us are over-stressed. I see many families where stress is the new norm and they are in constant “fight or flight”. Holiday or vacations are an effective way to counteract the health-sapping effects of the constant stress many of us experience. [2]

Top three holiday break tips to refresh and renew

      1. PRIORITISE healthy boundaries and  what is important for your and your family
      2. PLAN your next short break, as the anticipation lifts your mood  [3]
      3. PROCEED to book your next holiday early enough to get the time and location you want

If you would like to take the next step with Harry Armytage, complete the listening scorecard here

To find out more about what Sally Estlin does, head here

  1. Atsunori Ariga, Alejandro Lleras. Brief and rare mental ‘breaks’ keep you focused: Deactivation and reactivation of task goals preempt vigilance decrements. Cognition, 2011; DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2010.12.007 
  2. Joudrey, A.D. & Wallace, J.E. (2009). Leisure as a coping resource: A test of the job demand-control-support model. Human Relations, 62, 195-217.
  3. Nawijn et al. Vacationers Happier, but Most not Happier After a Holiday. Applied Research in Quality of Life, 2010; DOI: 10.1007/s11482-009-9091-9

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