top of page

Holidays are bloody great, but a life you don't need a holiday from, well isn't that the point.

We just returned from 2 weeks in Vietnam, one of my favourite places in the whole world. Despite it being my third trip there, it was the first with my fiancé, and it was the most incredibly enriching experience. We ate some of the best cuisine in the world, adventured, and relaxed. For the first time ever I actually completely switched off from work (came home to 780 emails in the inbox..), and enjoyed 2 weeks of uninterrupted or distracted time with my beautiful fiancé. But I have to say, I was also so excited to come home. Sipping cocktails by the pool is great for a time, however, its not what gives my life purpose and meaning. Its not what sets my heart on fire. I have a life I want to be present for and contributing to, and for that I am eternally grateful.

There's no denying that taking a break from the daily grind and going on holiday is a wonderful experience. You get to explore new places, try new foods, and enjoy some much-needed downtime. Holidays can provide a wealth of benefits for your mental health and wellbeing. However, for many, booking a holiday is often about providing a temporary solution to the stress and burnout of their daily life. What if that could be different, what if you could build a life that you don't need a holiday from?

First, let's take a look at some of the psychological benefits of taking holidays, because this in no way is an attack on holidays. Holidays can help to reduce stress levels by allowing individuals to take a break from the daily grind and relax. Taking time off from work and other responsibilities can provide a much-needed break from the stressors of life. This undoubtedly can help you to feel happier and more satisfied, and also improve your overall mental health and reduce some risks of anxiety and depression.

Holidays can also help you gain a new perspective on life. Being in a new place, meeting new people, and experiencing different cultures can help broaden your horizons and challenge your preconceptions. This can be a great way to break out of a rut and find new inspiration in life.

For me, in particular, I find stepping away from familiar routines and environments can spark creativity and inspire new ideas. I also find taking a break from work and other obligations can actually boost my productivity in the long run by helping me to recharge and return to everyday life with a renewed energy and focus. Holidays provide an opportunity to reflect on my goals and values, and help me to gain clarity and a greater sense of purpose in life. But most of all, holidays provide me an opportunity to spend quality time with loved ones, strengthening bonds and creating cherished memories.

Overall, taking holidays can have a positive impact on both mental and emotional well-being, and can lead to increased happiness, productivity, and overall life satisfaction. Travel is linked to greater happiness, empathy and creativity.

Scientific research has found that anticipating a vacation actually brings more sustained happiness than the vacation itself. Having a holiday booked provides sense of anticipation and excitement. Anticipating positive future events is a hugely beneficial source of coping when under stress. When you have positive anticipatory things in your mind, there's just less room for negative thoughts. There's an overall better profile of positive to negative. Even if its just a few short breaks, or weekend getaways. The science says book something now!

So while holidays do provide temporary relief from stress and burnout, and plenty of other health and wellbeing benefits, they're not a long-term solution. To build a life that you don't need a holiday from, you need to focus on creating a sustainable lifestyle that promotes wellbeing and balance.

One of the keys to building a life you don't need a holiday from is finding purpose and meaning in your everyday activities. This could involve pursuing a passion, volunteering for a cause you care about, or simply finding joy in the small moments of everyday life. It's also important to prioritise self-care and make time for activities that help you relax and recharge. This could include things like exercise, meditation, spending time with loved ones, or indulging in a hobby. The older I get, the more I realise how important these things are in creating a life I want to show up for.

Building strong relationships and a supportive community is also critical to help you create a fulfilling life. When you have people around you who care about your wellbeing and share your values, it can provide a sense of belonging and help you feel more connected to the world. Epicurus said; “Of all the means to insure happiness throughout the whole life, by far the most important is the acquisition of friends". This quote is something that has stood out to me my whole adult life, and as I get older, it becomes more and more true. In fact, I am also certain that having 1 great friend, is better than 10 good ones. The quality and strength of relationships and sense of connection and belonging are the two most important indicators for health, wellbeing, and morbidity.

Of course, building a life you don't need a holiday from is easier said than done. It requires hard work, self-reflection, and a willingness to make changes (sometimes huge changes) to your lifestyle. But the payoff is immense. When you have a life that feels fulfilling and balanced, you won't need to escape from it on a holiday – instead, you'll be able to enjoy the everyday moments and find joy in the here and now.

Taking holidays and having a break from the daily routine can have many psychological benefits, such as providing an opportunity to disconnect from stressors, gain new perspectives, and provide a sense of anticipation and excitement. However, building a life that you don't need a holiday from is an even more powerful way to live. Focusing on creating a sustainable lifestyle that promotes well-being, finding purpose and meaning in everyday activities, prioritising self-care, and building strong relationships and a supportive community are all important steps to achieving a fulfilling a life that doesn't require constant escape.

128 views0 comments


bottom of page