Dossier: Stress and relaxation

5 tips for more relaxing holidays

Daily working life with all its commitments, stresses and routine can be stressful. Are short time-outs sufficient to recharge your batteries? Here are 5 tips for recovery.

Text: Nicole Krättli; photo: iStock

The most recent Swiss Job Stress Index showed that one in four people in employment feel stressed at work, while no less than a third said they were emotionally exhausted.One solution is to take short breaks. A Dutch-German study has shown that holidays increase life satisfaction and reduce health complaints. Psychologist Jessica de Bloom writes: “Breaks can help you switch off from work and other daily routines and tasks.”

A US long-term study also confirms the positive effects on health: Men who don’t take holidays are 30% more likely to suffer a heart attack than those who take a vacation at least once a year. And de Bloom remarks that it’s interesting that it doesn’t matter whether you take a short break or go on vacation for several weeks. Your health and well-being improve regardless of the duration of the break. That’s why it’s all the more important to use your holidays to take time out and really relax. Here are 5 tips on how to do just that:

Go offline

According to a study conducted in 2018, we look at our smartphone every 11 minutes on average. A study recently published in Germany revealed that we spend on average 20.2 hours online a week on our phones. Why not use your next holidays for a digital detox. Switch off your mobile or at least make sure you don’t receive work emails on your smartphone.

Take a break from your routine

Family and working life are usually mapped out from start to finish. The complaint “I don’t have time” seems to be all-pervasive. The good news is: you do have time. 24 hours a day to be exact. Allow yourself the luxury of having no plans during your mini break. Get up when you (or your kids) want. Eat when you’re hungry. Leave the house (or not) when you want to. Just go with the flow and bid farewell to schedules.

Be inspired

Do you ever find yourself reflecting and wondering what on earth you’ve done in the last few weeks? And no matter how hard you try, you just can’t remember. During your holiday, take moments in which you are inspired – try seeing, experiencing, feeling something new and being really excited. Make it a moment that you will enjoy looking back on months or years from now.

Don’t put yourself under pressure

Holidays at last. Finally time to read all the books that have long been in your to-read pile, to start jogging regularly again or to visit old friends. Notice anything? You’ve got an endless to-do list again. As wonderful as the individual activities may be, taken together they create pressure and turn what are actually pleasant experiences into pending tasks. Free yourself from lists and plans!

Spend time alone

It is great to be supported by family, friends and colleagues. However, time alone now and again can do you the power of good. So, during your next vacation, why not treat yourself to time alone? Even if it’s just a walk in the woods or a short excursion, time alone is great for recovery.