I’ve just returned from a week’s holiday. I took a whole five days off work to spend seven days snowboarding in the French Alps, watching two good friends tie the knot at the top of a mountain. It was marvellous. The trip wasn’t what some would say is relaxing. Boarding all day followed by plenty of apres. My body is battered and bruised from being a learning boarder and my liver slightly more pickled from jugs of beer and shots of toffee vodka. Yet I’ve returned feeling rested, refreshed and energised.
My smile hasn’t left my face since I’ve been back, I was super productive at work and feel in control of the projects that lay ahead over me over the next few weeks. Despite all my frantic rushing around to get things done before I left for my break, my department didn’t fall down without me and the world is still turning.
Taking your allocated annual leave is so important for your wellbeing. Taking a break and recharging the batteries elevates stress and spending time with family and friends helps to build stronger bonds with our loved ones. There are countless studies to show that his has a positive effect on our health, happiness and can even make us live longer.
Despite this so many people fail to use all their annual leave each year. Anecdotally, just the other week a friend of mine said she cancelled a holiday day she had book because ‘they were just too busy’ and ‘they won’t be able to cope without me’ and this isn’t a one off, she’s done this many times before.
Quite frankly my response to this is bull sh*t and who f*cking cares. That’s not to say I don’t care about my job or that I want to leave my company in the lurch, working in events I put in many a weekend a have very busy periods - I plan for these and work round them. Being stressed about workload and the negative feelings you get from cancelling a day off is not going to be good for your mind set or your attitude and productivity. You’re entitled to your days off, take them… you need them.
Being in the snowy mountains 3000 metre above sea level was a completely new experience for me and one which quite literally took my breath away. I was in awe of the beauty of what is just rock and frozen water, and felt overcome with emotion. For me it put everything in perspective, it’s no secret that travelling and new experiences can enrich your life giving inspiration and fuelling creativity, taking a break has helped immensely. I’m personally reaping the benefits of a good holiday, so much so that I’ve booked my next one!
So to anyone who’s been chained to the desk for too long and feels stressed, deflated or just too busy I say take a holiday. Things will carry on without you despite what you think and you’ll come back so much better faced to take on your world, whatever it might throw at you.