Our Head of High Street Engagement, Katie McKenna, looks at what you can do to keep the best of your holiday habits once you're back at work.
Do you sometimes feel like a completely different person while on holiday? If you’re anything like me, you want to keep that blissful holiday feeling all year round so here are a few tips to keep the ‘relaxed you’ around a little bit longer regardless of the weather.
How do you spend your time when on holiday - whether that’s lounging in the sun, exploring new towns, swimming and floating, reading, getting out into the great outdoors or spending time at home with your family – think about when you are most relaxed, happy and generally enjoying the good aspects of life. Aside from the sun element, a lot of the relaxation techniques that come to the fore on holiday can feature in your own daily routine even when you’re back at work. It’s all about taking time to do the things that make you happy.
Take a break
As you focus your energy on having that well earned siesta or heading off on another adventure or settling down to read that summer blockbuster, be thankful to the colleagues who have allowed you to switch off from daily chores and remember that the world will continue to turn without you. Taking regular breaks from work is vital to maintain wellbeing and will mean you return to the office refreshed and invigorated.
If you work alone, you can take steps to make sure your clients are informed and expectations are managed and if you’re part of a bigger organisation, by all means finish up everything you can and alert colleagues to any plans you have in place for while you’re away, but hand work over.
This is a great example of the potential benefit that can be gained by accessing help that is available from colleagues at all levels – after all they will need a break too and you can reciprocate.
Say it with me now: I can’t do everything all the time. You shouldn’t be afraid of asking for help when you need it and accepting it when it’s offered.
If I’m holidaying somewhere warm and sunny, the heat usually forces me to make better food choices...well, until dessert. Honestly, there is literally nothing better than a fresh and light salad when the sun is burning in the sky and an ice-cold glass of water. Alternatively, you may be longing for the opportunity to spend time shopping for fresh ingredients (whether you’re at home or exploring local markets on holiday) before creating a special meal for family and friends and enjoying the fruits of your labour with a nice glass of wine and good conversation.
You’ll notice how this makes you feel and it is an easy tip to take home with you. Focusing on nutritious, filling and healthy choices and hydration definitely helps support a healthy mindset and will fuel your day at the office.
As much as I do enjoy a nap on a lounger, I love to explore the local towns, try new sports (sea kayaking and paddle boarding are recent attempts), swimming and cycling. Why is this version of you only limited to holidays? Again, if you enjoy it, dedicate some time in your day to squeezing in a walk, cycle to work or jump into the local pool. If you do find a love of watersports, look into where you can try it out again (in very cold water). Exercise is proven to improve attitude and mental health and should be a priority for all of us.
I love sleeping. It’s one of my favourite hobbies. The heat, lack of expectations (and maybe a cheeky margarita or two) mean I sleep ridiculously well when I’m away. The focus during a holiday is rest and this needs to come back in your suitcase too. It’s about taking the time to ensure that you go to bed at a reasonable time to allow your batteries to recharge. You’d never let your phone battery die so why are you so intent on draining your own? A healthy night’s rest is a key pillar of maintaining your own wellbeing.
If you feel amazing listening to the waves lapping lazily on the sand? It’s doesn’t come with the sun on your skin but Headspace and Calm have an excellent suite of relaxing sounds that can transport you back to your favourite holiday location and which will help focus your mind and assist your productivity.
Prioritise what matters
Chances are if you’re away from the office you might be spending your client free time with friends, a partner or your family. For those who prefer a solo adventure, it’s also a great time to focus on you- what do you need to be fulfilled? What do you want to achieve? The message is clear - we all need to take a moment to truly appreciate the blessings we have in our lives. If you feel that something might be missing, dedicate time to getting to the bottom of that.
One final idea to keep that de-stressed version of you around. Make time to have fun and enjoy life. One colleague let me in on her secret: she and her husband treat every evening and weekend as a mini holiday. It’s a fantastic way to prioritise your free time, ensure that you take it and spend it with the people that you appreciate.
For more tips on wellbeing check out Lawscot Wellbeing.