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Why you probably need a holiday more than you think

The workaholics out there may be cursing this annual Christmas shutdown as the rest of us cheer - leaving the office for a week or more can seem more like a pain than a pleasure.

The workaholics out there may be cursing this annual Christmas shutdown as the rest of us cheer – leaving the office for a week or more can seem more like a pain than a pleasure.

But even if your approaching the onset of the holiday season begrudgingly, it’s likely you’ll still reap the benefits in more ways than one – particularly if you’re getting away.

So stop bellyaching, forget that to-do list and get into the holiday spirit – the positives are plentiful and the negatives? Well, they’re pretty much non-existent (apart from where the bank balance is concerned).

We round up the reasons why you should be loving this holiday season:


Your body will thank you


There are numerous studies that demonstrate the physical benefits of taking a break. For example, one such piece of research of women in Massachusetts over a 20 year period found that women who took infrequent holidays were more likely to have heart attacks than those who got away regularly.

Another study which examined 12,000 men who were at high risk for coronary heart disease over nine years found those who took a holiday every year were less likely to have a heart attack and had an overall lower mortality rate.

Overall message – travel is good for you!


So will your mind


If you don’t take holidays, you’re more likely to burn yourself out which can lead to depression, inferior health and higher rates of suicide.

The implications can be huge for your social life leading to marriage and family problems which can escalate the problem. The needs and requirements of your role can also become more daunting, leading to professional issues.

Give yourself a break and rebalance your soul.


Take control


It’s easy to feel a little out of control at work as those lists of things to do get longer and those deadlines loom. And that’s not even taking into account the demands of your personal life – all those people to meet, places to go, chores to do.

A holiday is the perfect opportunity to regain some of that control, revive and restore by planning and executing the perfect trip.

Of course, things don’t always run smoothly while travelling, but turning things around and getting them back on track can be hugely empowering too.


Try something new


Doing something challenging or interesting while you’re on a break can be hugely rewarding which is a pretty great feeling.

So ditch your everyday routines and try something new, take a course, attempt a new sport or even one you already love. Taking a break from the humdrum and investing yourself in something you love is actually engrossing, helping you forget your stresses and troubles. As a result, you’ll emerge from the experience feeling relaxed, happy and satisfied with life.


Switch off – literally

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Did someone say something?


How often do you get the chance to switch off your smartphone and ignore those relentless emails? Even while on holiday, many people keep checking their mobiles to keep an eye on things. But research has shown that people who stay connected with the office while away have higher cortisol levels (that means stress) and struggle with the balance between work and family – stressful in itself.

Switching off the devices also means you can truly be present in the moment without your mind flitting from one thing to the other.

So stop worrying about work, and enjoy your holiday!


Make it frequent


Taking a holiday can seem like such an undertaking that we can often be tempted to put it off for as long as possible, then taking one big holiday. But the reality is that we should be getting away from reality on a more regular basis.

A study found that the emotional boost created by a holiday only lasts three to four weeks, and even less for workaholics. Another research piece found that happiness levels during a holiday generally peak at around day eight and then start to decline. So a three week holiday, while a lot more adventurous, may not actually make you happier overall.


Are you heading somewhere fun this holiday season?