It’s that time of the year
Written by Loranne Avzar
August … the much-awaited month by many of us to enjoy some holiday time. Probably, because of Covid-19 and the uncertainty it brings along, most of us have changed their holiday plans for Summer 2020; but don’t we need some holiday time anyway?
Indeed, we do!
For people who are lucky enough to still have a job, the fact that they cannot travel, cannot attend live concerts or meet up with friends, taking a vacation time from work might seem futile or self-abuse when it comes to job security. People might be afraid of losing their jobs and want to prove themselves as an asset to the organisation.
On, the other hand, there are those who are less lucky who lost their jobs, and due to financial limitations, for them, holiday time is just a dream this year.
Why is holiday time important?
Mental health and workplace experts remark that the added stress of the global crises and toppled schedules, compels that taking a break from work as being particularly important for our mental health and career success – even if it is just a day here and there.
The correlation between physical and mental health, and stress is well known; as stress is a strong contributor to high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and depression. Stress also decreases immune defences and causes stomach and sleep problems. Psychologically, stress makes a person becoming more irritable, depressed and anxious. It can also impact memory, resulting in someone making inferior decisions.
The state of our well-being, which includes our emotions, thoughts and attitudes affect our energy, productivity, relationships and our overall health. Having a well-balanced mental health, fortifies our ability to cope with the daily hassles, challenges and more serious crises. It is all what we need to create the life we want!
Thus, taking time off from work every now and then is important to maintain well-balanced mental health and to prevent workplace burnout – this might be especially critical given the added stress caused by Covid-19.
Therefore, if you are lucky enough to have a job and the flexibility to take vacation, do it! … and if you are currently unemployed, do it too!
Let’s see how it can be done effectively without breaking the bank!
Take time to re-charge
With the introduction of smartphones, laptops and tablets, we are all instantly contactable by email, messages and texts. Therefore, before you go on vacation set up a message on your work email account that automatically send replies to incoming emails informing them that you are not available. While on vacation leave, switch off from work by having intervals of time when you are neither being engaged in work-related activities, nor thinking about work. Close your work email on your smartphone. If something urgent at work crops up, probably you will be called not sent an email.
Enjoy simple activities
Experts advise that even just a day off here and there to pursue a home project, spend time with family, engage in hobbies or just do nothing at all, can help us to maintain a healthy well-being.
Simple activities may vary from decluttering home, going for an early walk alone or with family, cooking new healthy delicious meals, visiting local historical places, watching sunset at the beach while having a swim or dinner, and maybe next week watching the Perseids meteor shower (between 11th and 13th August).
Or else you decide to do nothing at all. Why not? Although often we have pressures to do something during our vacation leave, because this is time we need to capitalise on and make the most of it; it is also such a huge relief and kind of fun to allow ourselves a day to do absolutely nothing guilt-free.
In a nutshell, there is sound evidence that having time off from work boosts our health and wellbeing and positively impacts our work performance. Being physically and mentally healthy strengthens our ability to cope with the daily hassles, challenges and more serious crises.
Therefore, it is important that while on vacation we mentally disengage from our daily worries and enjoy pleasant activities with our loved ones – this summer in a more cautious way.
And remember … it is important to enjoy life sensibly in its completeness; i.e. work and leisure, because “A perpetual holiday is a good working definition of hell.”
Being physically and mentally healthy strengthens our ability to cope with the daily hassles, challenges and more serious crises.