08 Jun Book a holiday or your health will suffer. Doctor’s orders!
These were the words from my local St Kilda GP on Australia Day a year and a half ago when she revealed some early detection cancer results after a routine check. I never felt more relieved in my life to know that I had support from community and fellow health professional, to give me permission to switch off!
When holidays become the new health supplement, you know you must commit to the work / life balance concept.
I’ve been teaching wellness for my whole working life. I had the fitness and nutrition down pat. I’m adapting well with regular chiropractic nerve system checks, but for many years I forgot to escape and book a break. As a single mother; these feelings of guilt got worse. Why would I run away to somewhere fun and experience something new for the purposes of relaxing, when I could keep saving for a home?
It seems I’m not alone in thinking this.
New research released this week reveals an equivalent of 2.4 million full time working Australians have gone without taking leave for more than a year, with 86% experiencing burnout as a result of not taking enough leave.
I didn’t realize I couldn’t keep at it and work every day forever and that eventually my health would suffer. My cortisol levels were so high (my stress hormones) and that can contribute to an acidic / cancer causing environment on the body.
I’ve since enjoyed taking holidays. My health improved.
So, then I decided to partner with Booking.com, the global travel platform, which aims to start readdressing this balance by encouraging Aussies to take their annual leave days and get away to improve their health and wellbeing.
Their campaign to book leave is pegged to ‘Book a Holiday Day’, a day they have founded on Friday June 15 around pay week and to take you away from the cold winter months when you’re aching to escape! I’m rugged up now but need to start planning my next escape.
Around one in four (23%) full time working Aussies have gone without annual leave for more than a year while 900,000 have gone without leave for 3 years or longer.
This used to be me!
Less than one third of full time working Australians (31%) are using all of their annual leave each year. What are you all doing with it?
Furthermore, the research showed that not taking a holiday could be making you fat or sick!
The most common consequences of experiencing burnout found in the research are loss of concentration (51%), work slower than usual (43%), take one or more sick days (38%), eat too much sugary/junk food to try to get some energy back (36%) and to consume too much caffeine to try to stay focused and awake (33%).
Don’t crave the bad stuff anymore and start listening to your body’s signals.
As a Certified wellness coach, I present my 5 top tips on how to take advantage of your annual leave and book in a break to destress from work:
1. PLANNING IS WINNING
Take advantage of public holidays and book in an extended break for a proper holiday. Look ahead to pre-plan this and get in there early with leave requests. Use Book a Holiday Day to take the time out of your schedule to plan, this allows you to break up the year into regular holidays and work towards these goals.
2. GO LOCAL
If you’re time poor, short of cash or need to stay close to home, book in a domestic trip or indulge in a staycation to give you more holiday time and less stress. To spur creativity, try something you wouldn’t normally do and explore the local gems of your city – change is as good as a holiday!
3. MINDFUL MONDAY
Ever get that ‘Smunday’ feeling when the two days blend and you start getting Monday anxiety and as a result don’t enjoy the last past of your weekend? Book in occasional Monday’s off throughout the year to extend your weekend and create a great mini break to unwind and relax. Mondays are the cheapest day of the week to book accommodation too!
4. DIGITAL DETOX
As the author of Wellness Loading; disconnect to reconnect, I know all too well the benefits of turning off tech on leave. Explore holiday destinations where the WiFi is weak and allow yourself to connect with yourself, nature and the community. If you must check emails, schedule in times during the day. Allow yourself to switch off but come back to screen time with more purpose.
Book a holiday that allows you to be near a bay or the sea. Studies have shown that those living by the sea are less stressed and healthier. Not only do you get to unwind with the white noise of the ocean, or be calmed by hues of blue, but research also show that its beneficial for your eyes to gaze out at a natural landscape such as the sea to ease the eyeball rather than looking at built up urban cityscapes.
To get inspired and book your next holiday, you can visit: www.booking.com/bookaholidayday