Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Why are holidays so important?

Whether we’re a workaholic, an employee, unemployed or a full-time parent, we all experience stress in varying degrees and we all deserve a break from time to time. Even the Prime Minister takes time off for recess during the summer and although some think this isn’t justified, he's probably doing the right thing.

When we’re stressed, we’re more likely to become ill because our body is less able to avoid injury and fight infection. We may not sleep or digest our food as well and our memory and ability to make decisions may worsen. We may also become irritable, depressed and anxious.

Holidays can help us de-stress. Indeed, research in Canada has revealed active pastimes, such as holidays and golf, helped almost 900 lawyers guard against or improve job stress. Holidays allow us time to rest and recuperate, to broaden our horizons, to gain a new perspective, to promote peace and understanding and to learn. Researchers at Purdue University have also found they promote positive bonding, communication and solidarity for families through shared experience.

Here are some tips on how to make the most of your holiday.

  1. Do your research - this will minimise stress and inform you of what's available where you’re going. 
  2. Don't feel guilty -  holidays are about relaxing and ridding yourself of unwanted feelings such as guilt. If you’re worried about taking a trip, maybe there is something else going on. 
  3. Make it an adventure - research has shown that active holidays are most beneficial. Take some time to relax on the beach but make sure you get off the beaten track as this will pose new challenges and give you some memorable, bonding experiences with your holiday companions. 
First Psychology Scotland has centres in the following locations:
Edinburgh: 0131-668-1440, www.edinburghtherapy.co.uk
Glasgow: 0141-404-5411, www.glasgowpsychology.co.uk
Borders: 01896-800-400, www.borderspsychology.co.uk
Aberdeen: 01224-452-848, www.aberdeenpsychology.co.uk

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