Holidays can improve your health and career

It can be tempting to stockpile holiday leave but what’s the potential cost to your health and wellbeing?

Are you the office holiday hoarder? According to Tourism Australia one in four of us have 25 days of leave stored – that’s massive.

Common reasons for stockpiling leave include worries work will pile up while you’re away to saving leave for a big trip, life event, or waiting for a partner to be available.

Whatever the reason, experts say we need regular breaks to help recharge our batteries and enjoy better mental health. It may even improve our work performance.

How long do I need off?

Helen Rimington, says the frequency and length of the ideal holiday depends on the individual.

“I think it would be lovely if we all took a week off every three months. That’s nine days with weekends tacked on,” she says.

“But some people can easily go a year without a holiday if they know how to wind down on a Friday night and not ramp up until a Monday morning. I don’t agree with people hoarding their holidays but if you really enjoy your weekends and are winding down effectively and you want to save leave for travel then that’s fine.”

lady lying under beach umbrella

Switching off

Leaving your work phone and laptop behind when you go on holidays is also a good idea.

“Don’t let your mind trick you into thinking you have to be constantly in touch with work in order to feel okay,” Helen warns.

“What I sometimes do is say, ‘here is the number of the place where I’m staying. If there’s something urgent call and I’ll get back to you straight away’.

“I don’t take anything with me mainly because I want my kids to remember a fantastic holiday where mum wasn’t on the phone."

So, what are you waiting for? Book your next holiday now.

“Don’t let your mind trick you into thinking you have to be constantly in touch with work.''

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