Have you ever wanted to take a holiday but thought, I have too much to do?

Holidays are not a luxury.  They are the key to a well-balanced and healthy lifestyle.  Taking a break is good for mental and physical health, and the real benefit is that you can return revitalised and re-energised.

Here’s 10 reasons to make holidays a priority in your life:

  1. Wake up happier:  Don’t you just love waking up when you’re on holidays?  People who take regular holidays reported feeling extremely happy and experienced an overall feeling of ‘well-being’ compared to those who didn’t take holidays.  Many reported these effects lasting well beyond their time away.
  2. Holidays relieve stress:  Stress triggers a surge of adrenaline and cortisol hormones to help you stay focused, energetic, and alert.  However when we’re under too much stress we may feel tense, nervous, or on edge.  Getting away for regular holidays and taking a break from every-day stresses provides relief from the constant high levels of these hormones and a chance to repair some of the damage.
  3. Enormous health benefits:  You will feel better, sleep well and your mood will lighten. Levels of stress and anxiety will lower.  Your heart function and blood pressure will begin to return to normal.  Stress can impact your immune system increasing your chance of getting colds and flu as well as more serious conditions.  Taking time out on holiday provides an opportunity reduce stress and give your body a chance to recuperate and re-energise.
  4. Sleep better:  Restless nights and disrupted sleep are common complaints and often indicate that we simply have too much going on in our minds. This affects our sleep.  Lack of sleep leads to less focus, less alertness, impaired memory, an increased likelihood of accidents as well as a decreased quality of life.  Taking a break can help interrupt the habits that disrupt sleep.  Take time off and learn to reset your sleep pattern.
  5. Improve your sex life: There really is such a thing as healthy holiday sex!  Studies have shown that high cortisol levels associated with stress create a negative feedback loop in the brain contributing to lower levels of sex hormones like testosterone, leading to a loss of libido.  People who holiday regularly reported feeling sexier, and experienced more romance in their relationships leading to better sex.
  6. loveBetter relationships:  Holidaying with your family or loved ones help forge closer bonds. Studies have found women who take holidays with their partners report feeling more satisfied with their marriage.  Family holidays create more memories than any other activity in our lives. People place a higher value on the shared experiences they have on holidays together over material goods they acquire during their lifetime.
  7. Maintain focus:  Taking time off keeps you balanced. Continuous work with no holidays can make people feel swamped and distracted, making concentration difficult. Surveys demonstrate that three-quarters of people who holiday regularly feel energized and revitalised.  Most are refreshed and ready to tackle new challenges when they return.
  8. Productivity in the workplace:  Researchers have found that employees who take holidays experience lower levels of workplace stress and are less likely to experience burn-out.  Holidays have been proven to increase employee productivity, and has been found to decrease the number of ‘sickies’ taken.  When you’re more productive, you’re happier, and when you’re happier, you excel at what you do.
  9. Holidays can help you lose weight:   Many of us admit to eating as a response to stress and stressful situations. Stress hormones such as cortisol are linked to increased belly fat and weight gain, which has been linked to heart disease. Studies have shown that despite indulging a little more during their holidays, people who regularly take a holiday break feel more energized and are often physically more active whilst away. They were also found to have improved glucose levels and experienced weight loss.
  10. Meet new people:  Do some networking, meet new people and generally relax and enjoy new conversations and activities.  Let it happen naturally!  Some of my favourite holidays have been where I unexpectedly made new friends.

familySo don’t feel guilty about taking the time off you’re entitled to. Holidays are important for a healthier you, a happier office and a more productive workplace.  Do yourself a big favor! Make yourself a priority and take some time off.

Stay happy, stay healthy and make sure you take that holiday!

What have you noticed about yourself when returning from a holiday?  Are you revitalised or re-energised?  Refreshed?  Perhaps you’re inspired?   Share with us below how holidays impact on you.