Home and Away: 6 Ways to ACTUALLY Take a break
Contributed by @OlayideM
You’ve read the various posts about maximising your travel, travelling in groups and saving money on travel, (if not, you really should!) but one of the most important and often overlooked aspects of travelling is making time for physical and mental rest.
Rest and taking a real break isn’t exclusive to going on holiday for a few days; it is vital.
Why is Rest so Important?
Rest is important to allow our bodies to repair and recharge. Without ample rest we become easy targets for illnesses, making rash decisions, demotivated and much more.
Have you ever asked a colleague or friend how their holiday was and they respond with “I need another holiday from my holiday"? Jet lag aside, so many people go abroad and have amazing times, but fail to actually rest both physically and mentally. So here are a few ways to do so (both on holiday and at home).
You may read this and think, “that’s obvious”, but it’s not always the case. Especially with going abroad, you’ll plan to do the tourist things, take as many pictures as possible and explore every corner of the city you’re visiting and there is nothing wrong with doing so. However, a time to actually do nothing but sleep needs to be factored in. On an all-girls trip, my friends and I spent the majority of our first day asleep and this really set the pace for the rest of the trip. I’ve read/heard that when we sleep is when our brains get a good “washing” to get rid of all the toxins we’ve accumulated in the day. With a refreshed mind your holiday experience will be more pleasant as opposed to a blur.
2. Leave social media alone
In this age of 24-hour-show-and-tell, we often feel obligated to tweet, snap and IG every special moment we encounter. Each to their own I guess, but even the task of updating the masses on what you had for breakfast is work. On your next trip, take pictures, but try not to post them on social media for the duration of your trip (maybe post them when you’re back, or don’t post them at all). The thought of checking your likes, views and retweets seems like a lot of effort to me, you might as well start checking your office emails too, right? Let your mind rest.
A break from social media while on holiday or at home will give you a new perspective on your experience, rather than trying to make your experience what “theirs” was (a lot of the time this is subconscious thinking).
3. Read a Book
Resting your mind doesn’t always mean sleeping all day, you can rest your mind by also stimulating it with things like reading a book or playing mind-training games. Of course, you’re on holiday and you want to explore, but if time permits, stimulate your mind by reading. If you intend on reading while on holiday, make sure it’s not too lengthy, that it’s something you’ll enjoy and something you can finish before you get back home, such an aim will mean you’ll make time to read and will help when prioritising your holiday time.
4. Plan Your Itinerary but be Flexible
Plan, but have a contingency plan for your plan.
Things will not always go as you had hoped and while on holiday you need to be ok with this. Leaving room for plans to change will make your holiday less rigid and somewhat spontaneous. A rigid holiday is stressful, so relax and don’t stress if the famous restaurant is fully booked, I’m sure there other places available where you can enjoy a great meal.
Other Useful Tips for Resting at Home
The tips mentioned above are also applicable to time spent at home, be it that you are on annual leave, it’s a bank holiday or it is time after work.
5. Shutdown at a Reasonable Hour
If you work in an office or you work from home, avoid working too late and only work overtime when it is absolutely necessary. Do not make late night working your thing.
You need time to physically and mentally unwind after work, for me, this takes anything from 1-2 hours. Assuming I leave work at 5 pm, get home at 6 pm and make dinner, that means at 8 pm is when I’ll be feeling relaxed. Again, assuming I get to bed at 11 pm, that leaves me with three hours of relaxed time to do what ever I want to do after an 9 hour day at the office. So learn how to leave your work at work and invite a restful and peaceful environment into your personal space. It will set you up for great rest, great sleep and great energy to make it through the week without burning out.
6. Take up a hobby or an activity
Doing something that cuts into your current routine is good for the mind and if you enjoy the hobby or activity you take up, you will always have something to look forward to. Examples of such are, going to the gym, learning a new language, baking classes, photography, joining a chess club or much more. Hobbies/activities are purposeful and offer you new challenges (that actually get you excited), relieve stress and depending on what it is, adopting a hobby is a great way of meeting new and like-minded people (outside of your phone).