It’s certainly something we’d all like to master. Returning home from a holiday, however long, feeling refreshed and ready to go. When we’re all glued to our phones, connected 24/7, switching off isn’t exactly easy. For a calmer, more relaxing holiday, here are a few things to tick off your to do list that should do the trick.
Don’t Start With An Early Morning Flight
Sure you’ll arrive early, but you’ll also have to get up early, you’ll be tired and grumpy and the probability of an argument over forgotten items or bad airport food is greatly increased. Sleep in, have time to remember everything you need and get to the airport at a reasonable hour. Feeling more relaxed already right?
Before You Leave, Write A List
The worst thing you can do for your stress levels is depart home with a to-do list in your head. Believe me, you will think about it the whole trip and your mind will not rest. So write everything on a list and leave it at home. I mean everything, from changing the bed sheets and taking the trash out to emailing your supplier and paying that invoice.
Don’t Make Plans For Your First Day
Just go with the flow. You won’t be rushed and in turn disappointed when you’re rushed and can’t get to your planned activities. Leave it blank and use the time to relax.
Switch Off Your Phone Or Put It Into Airplane Mode
Of course it’s not reasonable to do this for the whole holiday, but do it for a few hours a day or a couple of days if you can. You won’t be interrupted by work emails or calls, leaving mental space for other things, or nothing. If you can’t help yourself, why not leave your phone at home for the morning while you go on a hike or to do some other activity, just to give you a small break. The more you do it, the easier it gets.
When You Think Of Something That You Need To Do, Write It Down
Just like the list you need to leave at home I mention above, when on holiday, if you think of something that needs doing when you get home, write it down and leave it there. The same thing goes for ideas. Jot them down so you don’t forget then allow your mind to keep wandering and relaxing. There’s a reason
Only Take One Book And One Magazine
You may think choice is a good idea, but trust me it’s not. The less decisions you need to make, even easy ones like which magazine to read today, the lighter your mental load, and therefore the easier it will be to relax.
Allow Others To Dictate Your Day
If you’re anything like me, you want to be in control of your holiday. If you allow yourself to let go, even for just one day, or one activity, with someone else making the decisions, you’ll start to let yourself switch off and relax. Who cares what restaurant you go to for dinner or which trail you hike today, be in the moment and go with the flow, you might just start to enjoy it.
Have An Early Night
It’s tempting to party hard when you’re on holiday, there’s no doubt about that. If you do nothing else however, at least one night away, go to bed early. Stay in, relax and get a really decent night’s sleep. You’ll be thankful for it when you get back to reality and don’t feel like you need a holiday to get over your holiday.
One of the best ways to clear your mind and relax is by moving your body. Go for a hike in nature, do a yoga class, snorkel, kayak, anything that gets you moving is also good for the mind. Plus it will help you get that good night sleep I mentioned above.
Painting, weaving, basket making - whatever it may be, creative tasks engage a different part of your brain to most other logical, analytical tasks. It’s also refreshing to use your hands to create something, especially if you sit at a computer all day in your job. Even on a short break, doing something creative, like making something with your hands can help your brain disengage from everyday life, making you feel more refreshed on the return to reality. If you’re not creative, there’s always one of those adult colouring in books - preferably with a glass of wine or cocktail in hand.
Feature image courtesy of Getty.