The importance of taking a holiday

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Now I don’t want to brag, but by the time you read this, I’ll be enjoying a well-deserved holiday.

If you’re the type of person who takes pride in never taking a holiday, then this blog is for you. I’m always surprised by the sheer number of people who seem to wear this as a badge of honour.

You can’t underestimate how important stepping away from work really is. Breaking your usual routine (just for a short while) allows you to recharge your batteries, meaning you’ll ultimately perform better.

Taking a holiday can also help prevent burnout, the state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by prolonged stress and/or overwork, which can lead to various physical health problems, such as chronic fatigue, headaches, stomach issues, and a weakened immune system. It can also trigger mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, and mood disorders.

So why do we do it? Here are just a few of the reasons I’ve heard in the past.  

It’ll all fall apart if I’m not there

If you like to tell yourself that things at work are going to fall apart the minute you’re not there, then it’s time to check your ego.

We all like to believe that we’re an integral piece of the day-to-day goings on around you, but in all honesty, is that really true? Is you taking a few days away from the office really going to cause the entire operation to fall over, or does your ego need to imagine that’s what would happen?

If it is actually true, then maybe it’s time to take a look at how you’re working. If you’ve created such an atmosphere of chaos around you that it really does fall apart without out, then it’s time to rethink how you’re doing things. Working in that environment doesn’t just create extra stress for you, it can’t be fun for the people around you either.

I’m too busy

I’d like you to think about the message this sends to the people around you. If you’re telling your partner, your kids or your friends that your work is more important to you then spending time with them, then there’s something dangerously out of balance in your life.

I can remember spending one birthday in Spain. My family were outside, celebrating with cake and having a great time. In the meantime, I was at my desk the whole time, working on a deal. Now, work will come and go – it’s the nature of business. But I can never get that time back with my family.

It should never be about how busy you are, or how long you’re sitting at a desk for each day, it should be about how productive you’re being and how close you’re moving yourself towards achieving your goals. And always, always make your loved ones your priority.

I can’t afford a holiday

Now, I realise that times are tight for a lot of people at the moment, however, if your reason for not taking a holiday is that you can’t afford it, then just stop for a moment and think about what your definition of a holiday actually is.

Going away on holiday doesn’t automatically mean you have to jet off to some 5 star resort. If that’s the kind of break you think you ought to be going on, maybe it’s time to think about why you’re doing that, and what you could be doing instead.

Are you choosing big, flashy holidays because you want to look good? Because you can see other people taking them and think that you’d like a bit of that too? A holiday shouldn’t be about how great the pictures are going to look on Instagram, they should be about switching yourself off from work and taking a break (whether that’s on your own, or with family/friends). You can do that without breaking the bank! It might take some research and resourcefulness, but it’ll definitely be rewarding in the long run.

I’ll feel guilty

Actually, this is a tough one to deal with. So often, we’re conditioned to thinking that if we’re not grinding away at a desk for hours and hours every day, then we’re somehow being lazy. That doesn’t make sense to me – just because you’re sitting at a desk doesn’t mean you’re actually achieving anything.

Ask yourself why you’re feeling guilty. Do you have some kind of limiting belief telling you that you don’t deserve a break? Do you have someone at work making you feel like you shouldn’t be taking time off? Grab a pen and paper if you need to and note down why you’re worrying about going on holiday, then think about what you can do to mitigate those guilty feelings.

Think about your health

If you’ve looked through everything I’ve written above and come up with an argument as to why it doesn’t apply to you, take a moment to think about your health.

As I often say, your health is your wealth. Taking time off will allow you to step away from the constant pressure of work, and give you a chance to rest, refresh and recharge, meaning you’re less likely to get sick, which will ultimately see you off work for a lot longer than if you’d just given yourself a break in the first place.

Time off work can boost your productivity in the long run too. When you take a holiday, your mind gets a break too, leading to increased focus, creativity, and problem-solving skills when you return to your daily tasks.

Taking a holiday also helps you rediscover passion, not only for your work but for your hobbies and interests too. Sometimes, a break from routine is all you need to reignite that spark and enthusiasm.

I guess what I’m saying is that it’s clear that taking a holiday isn’t just a luxury; it’s an essential investment in your well-being and overall happiness, so stop making excuses and get in the pool!