Need a reboot? Take a break.
A few weeks ago I was speaking to a team of successful mortgage brokers about the strategies they could use to maximise their daily energy levels and enhance performance. One of these key strategies is taking regular mini-breaks and holidays but when I asked the 80 odd brokers in front of me how many of them actually did this, only about one-third of the hands were held high. It became clear after a brief interrogation that many didn’t take holidays of any significant length because they were worried about leaving their clients and their businesses without them at the helm. What they hadn’t considered was how much their relationships and outcomes with their valued clients (and families) would benefit from them taking a well-earned break.
As much as we would all like to believe, in life none of us is indispensable. Each of us is special and unique, but the world keeps turning, businesses keep trading and lives keep going even when we step away from them. I for one am very passionate about taking holidays with my family and we are always cooking up plans for the next adventure. What I do know from both experience and research is that taking regular breaks from our everyday routine is vital to our health and well-being and greatly enhances our ability to perform at our best.
9 benefits of taking a holiday
1. Stimulate your mind with a new culture – if taking a holiday out of your own country, there is no doubt you will get to experience the world in a different way. New customs and cultures are fascinating and all add to good old life experience. It is so easy to have a narrow focus in our day-to-day lives and travelling to a different country is a great way to widen our lens. Until last year, my cultural experiences did not include a Naked Cowgirl standing on a median strip in the middle of New York, but I learnt a ton of things about marketing services I was completely unaware of.
2. Improve your physical fitness – sightseeing is a fabulous way of walking miles without really noticing, plus holidays often provide an opportunity to try new or different ways of exercising. This might be cycling around a medieval walled city in Italy under the canopy of ancient leafy trees, yoga by a azure pool in a tropical climate, hiking in majestic mountains, skiing in fluffy white powder snow or a bracing bush walk whilst admiring stunning wildflower displays and dodging the wildlife. The beauty is, none of these feel like exercise, yet your body reaps the benefits.
3. Physical and emotional well-being – it goes without saying that taking that step away from daily reality can only be good for your physical and emotional well-being. Everyone needs a pattern interrupt in their lives.
4. Get some sun – how lovely it is to feel the warmth of the sun when you are escaping cold weather back home. Of course, protecting your skin is important even when in holiday mode but relaxing in a warm climate is an ideal opportunity to get some Vitamin D. Even in a country like Australia that sees plenty of harsh sunlight, Vitamin D deficiency is thought to affect one third of the population, resulting in some major health consequences. And then, for many European countries, there is Seasonal Affective Disorder to consider, a type of depression, which affects more and more people during the winter months due to a lack of sunshiny goodness.
5. Sleep my pretty one – one of the best things about holidays is the complete lack of need for an alarm clock, no agenda, no schedule and no commitments (unless you count eating and having a good time). This means that you can totally relax, get enough sleep and discover the deep kind of sleep that your body truly needs to recharge the batteries. Sleep strengthens your immune system and relieves stress allowing your body to rejuvenate.
6. Unplug the technology – the joy of not having to answer a phone, deal with messages or read email should not be underestimated. Our lives now revolve around technology and the expectation that we are ‘on the grid’ 24/7 can be truly exhausting. Unplugging on holiday means that you can truly relax and be fully present and connected with those around you. Don’t forget, although you are special and unique you are not indispensable.
7. Get some happiness – removing yourself from everyday worries gives you the space to appreciate the good things in life. You don’t need to go looking for happiness; it often finds you in the moment.
8. Reconnect with family, friends or your self – in our fast paced go get ’em world it is too easy to go weeks and months without truly connecting with your family, your friends and most especially yourself. Breaks and holidays are perfect opportunities to reconnect and have those meaningful conversations that go beyond ‘how are you.’
9. Inspiration – I get some of my best and exciting ideas when on holiday, simply because I have the time and the space in my head to let them in. When we are locked into our daily routines, creativity and inspiration can be flowing at a mere trickle but when in holiday mode, space and opportunity abounds.
Sometimes the hardest thing about taking a holiday and unplugging is not in the planning or execution but in the decision that it is ok to leave behind commitments and people that need you. Holidays don’t need to be expensive, lavish affairs and some of the best feature a tent, a swag and the stars. The benefits flow through your business and personal lives, improving relationships and revving up your productivity, something that may have been lying dormant for a while.
What does your calendar say about your priorities in life? When asked, most people list things like family, friends, health, financial freedom, giving to others and being happy. Funnily enough, visits to the gym, time with friends and family and taking time out to relax don’t often feature in our calendars.
Our top priorities that shape the quality of our lives are often swamped by the less important that take up much of our time. Are your priorities matching reality? Check your calendar today.
Don’t forget to tune in to 882-6PR radio every alternate Wednesday at 10.30am for a chat with Gary Adshead and myself on the Morning program. We discuss everything nutrition and performance and answer callers’ questions. The next broadcast is on Wednesday 11th June.
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Don’t forget to check out my blog for interesting info that I come across on a regular basis too.