3 October 2019 | Written by Lydia Twohill

Why taking a break is so good for you!

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8 reasons you need your holiday breaks

There are some super important reasons to take holidays – they don’t just make us feel good – they actually make us healthier. So just in case you need an excuse to book your next holiday, read on. 

If you’re already raring to go –  head straight to our collection of seriously refreshing holiday homes!

1. Body chemistry

The chemicals your body creates under stress are different to the ones it gets from play. Chronic exposure to stress produces too much cortisol – great at the right level but in overdose it is a contributor to all sorts of trouble, including anxiety and depression. Take a break from stress-inducing environments so your mind and body can relax. We often put relaxation at the end of the to do list and work first! But if the body has had some quality downtime, including a good sleep, you actually perform work better. So flip the list, or give your R&R equal billing.

At the opposite end of the body’s chemistry is serotonin, a great cortisol buster and something that’s great to raise our levels of. When we’re on holiday we play, have fun, relax and laugh, all of which gives us the feel good serotonin boost that makes life on holiday so sweet. And, while you countdown to your holiday watch a comedy or two. Laughter really is the best medicine.

2. Body health

Stress can also contribute to all sorts of physical health problems, like heart disease and high blood pressure. The New York Times reported that, for both men and women, taking a holiday every two years compared to every six will drop your risk of coronary heart disease or heart attacks. We can’t argue with that, prevention is awesome.

3. Improved creativity

According to positive psychology expert Professor Lea Waters, our brains are either in “task mode” – when we are working – or in something called “default network mode” – which is when we have some mental down time. In default network mode our brains basically do a big sort out and can actually think creatively. Sitting next to the ocean or gazing out across gorgeous views gives you the space you need to let your mind off-leash and think of new ideas, or solutions to problems.

4. Boosted productivity

Professional services firm Ernst & Young did an internal study of their employees and found that for each additional 10 hours of holiday time people took, their year-end performance ratings improved a whopping 8 percent. When you’re more productive, you’re happier, and when you’re happier, you excel at what you do! What a happy cycle!

5. Better sleep

Sleep deprivation is one of the most commonly reported health problems in the Western World. Why? It’s a lot to do with our body clock. Low levels of natural light from working indoors, plus too much overstimulating technology and it’s blue light emissions don’t just overload our brains, they interfere with our body’s melatonin production. Melatonin is a key part of the body’s clock setter for sleep. On holiday you’re likely to be spending lots of time outdoors in natural light (and feeling the sun’s amazing vitamin D offering on your skin). You’re also less likely to be watching a backlit screen before bed on holiday. So your body gets more melatonin, your clock is reset, you get to experience better quality sleep – and you wake up more refreshed! (if you do indulge in some Netflix you can always sleep in!).

6. Connections with friends and family

A busy life can have a serious impact on your relationships. Chances are you’re in need of some good quality time with your partner, kids or friends. Putting down the phone and switching off from work allows you to be much more connected – and fun. Taking time to play or just hang out together in a new space can be a great way to reconnect. Strong social relationships are a big tick for good health. 

7. Brain gym

Being on holiday gives you the time and opportunity to break free from your norm and do something a bit different. Learning something new is not only fun, it actually helps build new pathways in your brain – which gives your brain health a big positive boost. If jumping on a paddleboard for the first time sounds too far out of your comfort zone, breaking out the scrabble board is an excellent way to put your brain through some fun paces.  

8. It boosts your happiness bank account

Simply planning a holiday boosts your happiness! Research shows it – you can feel positive mood-enhancing effects up to eight weeks before your trip! If you think about happiness as like a bank account, it means you can start to fill your account with healthy deposits before you even go away.

So there we have it – holidays are super good for you! Turn that out of office email on and fill up your happiness account. Your partner, friends, family, colleagues and most importantly – you – will thank you for it!

Feeling inspired now? Explore our holiday homes and start feeling happy as you plan that well-deserved break.

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