Holidays are meant to be refreshing right?
You’re meant to come back feeling ready to go to work and feeling ready to start again, feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. But this isn’t always the case. Sometimes I come back from a holiday feeling more tired than when I went on holiday. I’m not talking about the sometimes months-long holidays that students have the privilege of having once a year, but more those short quick holidays that may only be a week long.
I may come back feeling like I hardly rested even if it felt like I did nothing the entire time. So why am I always so tired after? Am I relaxing wrong? I feel weird about because it always feels like everyone around me is completely rejuvenated after the break and I’m just not.
It began to get me thinking about what I was doing during this off time. Was I really doing nothing like I thought? Because surely I wouldn’t be so tired if I had had some real downtime. It lead me to the fact that I was actually overworking myself. I wasn’t doing nothing, in fact, I was doing a ton of work. I just didn’t think it was as much as it was.
Holidays over the past two years have moved away from being just a holiday and much more focused on being blog-days. I usually most of my holidays working on blog related things. Emailing companies and online magazines to write for them or to be featured, writing blog posts and taking countless pictures for posts and Instagram. More recently it’s also been job hunting. I usually spend a couple of hours a day working on various tasks I set out for myself and then have some downtime. However, during this downtime my brain doesn’t switch off, I’m still thinking about more posts that I could write, other companies I could contact and a whole bunch of other things. It just never stops. I’m not giving myself room to breathe.
So it turns out that there actually is a proper way to relax, so here are my 4 top tips to getting the best out of your holiday and ensure that you feel relaxed and rejuvenated.
Doing nothing is important to let your mind switch off now and then but also to give yourself a break from all the stuff that goes on in your head as well as all the outside drama. Doing nothing isn’t necessarily just watching the grass grow or staring at the ceiling but it’s about not doing work or hobby related things.
Kick your feet up, binge-watch a series, read a book, watch all those movies you’ve been meaning to, journal, knit, sew a dress, write, watch some youtube videos. There are hundreds – probably thousands – of meditative acts that you can do to switch your mind off. Some are productive and some aren’t but it doesn’t matter. It’s about giving your mind a rest and just allowing yourself to not have to worry for even just a moment.
Go for a long walk, run, do some push-ups but just get your body moving. Exercise releases endorphins and makes us feel happier. Endorphins and happiness are great ways to deal with stress but just remember that just because you feel happy doesn’t mean you’re not stressed. Dealing with stress and fatigue is an ongoing process and it’s important to keep it in check otherwise you can end up burnt out.
Exercise is amazing for sleep and ensuring that you’re sleeping well and to your fullest capacity if you get what I mean. Exercise helps to have a consistent sleep schedule but also helps to have sleep that rejuvenates you and allows you to wake up fresh and ready for the day.
Remember this: When we are stressed we shouldn’t decrease our amount of exercise but actually we should increase the amount of exercise.
This one I’m not so great at but napping is amazing for exhaustion and stress. Think of the holidays as one big sleep break. So taking a nap during the day as well as sleeping longer than you usually do should kick your system back into working order.
Don’t try and force yourself to nap but if you’re feeling a little sleepy then maybe have a ly down. Catch up on all those missed hours of sleep from the working term and just let yourself indulge in something you won’t have for long. Sleep is healthy so do it as much as you can and rejuvenate your body.
Go out with friends and family, have divine food but do it on your terms and your time. Don’t try and push yourself to see every single one of your friends known to existence. Seeing one or two is fine and it means that you don’t overwhelm yourself socially.
But also don’t not see anyone – particularly if you l alone. Seeing people is another way to get you out of your head and it gives you a productive excuss to not work. It’s important to keep up healthy social connections and just get out and have fun every once in a while.
I hope this helps if you feel like I do after a holiday to make sure you’re relaxing “properly” and making sure you’re getting the most out of your off time. Happy relaxing and let me know if you have any relaxation tips and things of the sort.