Whether you’ve spent a week hiking through the Peak District or lounging by a pool in Spain, a holiday is a sure fire way to kick back, relax and reduce your stress levels. But how long does that post-holiday glow last for when you’re back in the swing of things? According to new research it takes just three days for us to lose that new lease of positivity and energy.
The American Psychological Association (APA) asked 1500 full-time, part-time and self-employed people how they felt after taking a break from work and how long it took for their post-holiday good vibes to melt away. Impressively well over half said that they felt more positive, creative and energised after having a holiday. While 24 percent felt any newfound energy and positivity disappeared instantly, over 40 percent said it took a few days.
“People need time off from work to recover from stress and prevent burnout,” said David Ballard, PsyD, MBA, who heads APA’s Center for Organizational Excellence. “But employers shouldn’t rely on the occasional vacation to offset a stressful work environment. Unless they address the organisational factors causing stress and promote ongoing stress management efforts, the benefits of time off can be fleeting. When stress levels spike again shortly after employees return to work, that’s bad for workers and for business.” Here are our tips for retaining that post-holiday high…
Book another holiday
It might seem abominably obvious, but booking another trip away will give you something to look forward to and brighten your mood, especially when autumn arrives. It might just be a weekend away, but you’ll be amazed by the impact it can have on you mentally and emotionally when you’re faced with an overwhelming to-do list at work.
Switch off at 9pm
Whether you’re answering emails, scrolling Instagram or browsing Apple news, you’re still plugged in and switched on. Plenty of us much more attached to our phones than we realise. Try putting your phone in a different room or switching it to aeroplane mode after 9pm during the week. You might be surprised by how hard it is to resist the urge to take a quick glance. Yet if you stick to it, you’ll be amazed by just how much better you feel within a couple of weeks – and how much extra time you have.
Mist away the mayhem
In those stress-induced, all-consuming moments when everything gets a little too much, Soul Medicine’s Inner Calm Mist, £32, really comes into its own. With a strong hit of mood-boosting vetiver you can literally feel the tension in your jaw, temples and shoulders drop almost instantly. We might be fans of this particular scent, but any mist that relaxes you will do the trick.
Write a list
It’s not uncommon to contemplate where you are with your life, especially in terms of your career, when you’re on holiday. You often have the head space to look at things from a renewed perspective and constructively evaluate where you are compared to where you want to be. Make sure you take note of this, even if it’s just scribbled in the back of your book or on the bottom of a restaurant bill – you never know when you might want to revisit it.