With the holiday break upon us, you may be thinking about how to make the most of the longer, warmer days ahead.
Hiking, travelling, perhaps swimming until sunset – whatever your plans are, make sure you factor in some “me time” here and there to relax and recharge your batteries. We have searched the Internet for some great tips to help you switch off.
Don't stress about work (well, try...)
Are you a bit of a workaholic and often find it hard to put your job aside? Occasional email checks are OK, but consider setting clear boundaries and time limits – yes, even relaxing requires a dash of discipline.
Allow yourself to stop, breathe and let things settle, without feeling guilty about it. You earned this time off, so leave work behind for a while and take advantage of it.
Easier said than done, you say? There are steps you can take to switch off. Many experts, for example, recommend doing a pre-holiday brain dump: on your last day of work, write down all the things you need to do when you return – then forget about that for the rest of your holidays.
According to PsychCentral, the “brain dump” technique can also help you stay organised during the holiday: “Write down every to-do that is on your mind, ingredients that need to be bought, and events that you can’t forget to attend. Get it all in one place, and then start sorting it out. Create a grocery shopping list, present shopping list, event list, and to-do list.”
Switch off, literally
As it turns out, digital detox holidays are on the rise, with so-called “black hole” resorts increasingly becoming an appealing option for travellers. But even without going to such extreme lengths, you can still enjoy a break from the screen.
The problem is that TVs, smartphones, tablets and PCs are intrinsically part of our daily lives. A 2017 survey from Specsavers found that almost one in five New Zealanders spend up to 35 hours per week watching screens, while a recent study from NetSafe revealed that Kiwis spend around six hours connected to the Internet, at home or on the go.
Social networks and apps are all powerful, entertaining tools, but unplugging, even if just for a while, comes with benefits. Just think about how else you could spend the time you free up.
Not sure how to start? Try switching every device off for at least 24 hours (or more, if you are feeling brave enough!) – sometimes, “going cold turkey” is more effective than gradually cutting down.
With lots of food, several rounds of cheerful toasts and social gatherings to attend, the holidays can be a tad stressful, too.
That’s why it’s important to take some time just for yourself. Be ‘strategic’: adopt a morning ritual, pencil things in rather than overcommit, and maybe schedule some pampering, like a long bath with your favourite music on or a treatment at a local spa. The ‘me-time’ is never wasted time.
New Zealand’s stunning scenery is world-renowned and awe-inspiring. When it comes to breath-taking landscapes, pristine beaches and panoramic walks, our country is second to none. So if you really want to recharge yourself, why not go outside and breathe in some fresh air?
It doesn’t have to be a long walk or an entire day of activities – sometimes even taking a quick stroll or a swim can work wonders in clearing your mind of the mental clutter. Give yourself time to ‘be in the now.’
We are so busy with our day-to-day lives and activities that we may sometimes lose sight of friends and family. Make your holidays an opportunity to strengthen relationships and practise gratitude.
According to ThriveGlobal.com, the holidays are an ideal time to cut out the negative thinking and focus on what’s important: “Consider starting a gratitude journal so that you can easily practise gratitude every day. Writing down three small things you’re grateful for each day will remind you of your blessings and boost your mood.”
Some studies found that being grateful can significantly increase wellbeing and satisfaction, leading to a better quality of life and even stronger immune systems. Like to get started? You can find some handy gratitude-building exercises here.
Enjoy the break and see you in the New Year!
From all of us at Cole Murray.