• Kay Johnston

Don’t Wait Until Your Holiday to Begin Relaxing

At this time of the year, lots of us are on countdown ready to go on holiday. A time when we give ourselves permission to relax and get rid of some of our stresses for a week or two.

Why do we wait until we are away on holiday to do this?

Unfortunately for some people, it can take a few days into their holidays until they start to unwind and feel the benefit of their time away.

Is it possible to “de-stress” before we go away? How wonderful would it feel to arrive on your holidays already relaxed with little or no stress? A bit like when you were a child going away, then it was all a big adventure with no worries upfront. Wouldn’t it be great to feel like this again?

Perhaps if we start to treat ourselves a little less harshly and take a moment to evaluate what needs to change and what habits we need to stop.

We could give ourselves a break and make some little changes up front, to help us to wind down before we arrive at our holiday destination.

Top Tips to Get Yourself Holiday Ready

· Plan Ahead – look at your calendar in the build up to your holidays. Try to schedule meetings in the run up to your time off with colleagues and associates which you find easy to work with. Don’t leave that awkward meeting until your last day, and then take all the annoyance and frustration in your suitcase with you. Put them off until after your holiday or schedule it early at the start of your last week or delegate them to someone else if that’s possible.

· Create a Pre-Holiday Action Plan – Assess what you need to get done, set yourself realistic targets. Highlight what can be delegated, what needs to be done and what can wait until you are back. If you are struggling, make sure you ask for help and accept support. Do not take on additional work which will put you under extra pressure. Make sure you have time to complete everything that needs doing, so that you do not take anything away with you.

· Out of Office – Give yourself time and set your out of office on longer than you are away. For example, if you are due back into work on a Monday morning at 9 am, set your out of office to cut off later in the day. So that you have time to catch up and don’t go straight back into full on pressure. Set a realistic expectation with your out of office message so that people know who to contact in your absence and when they should expect to get a reply from you. Include in your message that you won’t be contactable during your absence.

· Watch Out for Time Thieves – Don’t let the company “Time Thief” get the better of you before your holidays. Plan your workload in the run up to your holidays and add in some contingency. Don’t agree to any additional work which could end up eating into your holiday. You’ve worked hard, and you deserve a rest. You wouldn’t consider sharing your salary so why share your holidays with Mr or Mrs Time Thief. Don’t let anyone hog your time in those last few days when you have stuff to do, make a polite excuse to get rid of them fast.

· Healthy Habits – Ensure that you are getting enough sleep prior to your holiday so that you don’t burn out on arrival. Don’t start the holiday drinking pattern before setting off and eat healthy so that you can enjoy the luxury of the indulgence when you are away.

· Relax – Find time to relax, get into the habit of building time into your days when you can do something just for you. Whether its exercise, reading a book, watching your favourite film or going for a walk, do something just for you. Take the time to relax before you go away even if its only for a short while each day it gets you in the habit and its good for you.

· Rally the Troops – Get everyone involved with the prepping for your holiday, i.e. don’t do it all yourself, the packing, buying foreign currency, packing the car, dropping pets off for their holidays, shopping, cleaning up for the burglar’s etc. Make sure everyone who is going with you does their own bit to get ready for the holiday. If you’re a control freak – make a list to make sure they do their job properly and nothing gets forgotten.

Have a Great Summer

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