Take a real break this summer

With summer holidays fast approaching, how much do you really switch off when you go away on holiday?

Depending on the nature of your work you may be able to switch off very easily and leave all your work behind which others can deal with whilst you’re away, and genuinely relax and recharge your batteries.

However, there are many who do struggle to switch off.

Maybe it’s because you’re in a position of responsibility and find it hard to delegate work to your colleagues. If you’re a very hands-on person, it can be difficult to hand over and feel the job will be done as effectively by someone else as you would do it yourself.

There will be situations when you won’t actually have anyone to hand over to – you may have your own business or be in a highly skilled profession where there aren’t others in your workplace who can take over.

So, what can we do to help ourselves? We know that it makes a huge difference to our mental and in some cases physical health to be able to take a proper break. Having a holiday, whether that’s a long weekend camping or a fortnight abroad can help you to de-stress and gain a different perspective on life as a whole, not just your working environment. You could actually find that you can approach challenges you face at work much more successfully once you’ve been able to step back and take a different approach.

Having experienced years of struggling to switch off whilst on holiday, we know that it isn’t achieved easily – it needs practise, determination, positivity and a recognition that if we don’t make the changes, the task will just get tougher.

Here are a few things we believe will help you take a “real” break:

1. Prepare – you have your holiday planned, so why don’t you make sure in the few weeks leading up to it that you complete as much work as you can and hand over as many tasks as possible to colleagues. Write a list of what MUST be completed and tick them off as you complete them.
2. Postpone some tasks– do some tasks really need to be completed before you go? Could someone else do them, or you pick them up when you return?
3. Train yourself – If you really have to check emails, then train yourself to do this at specific times of the day. How about first thing in the morning so they are out of the way and don’t interfere with the rest of your day?
4. Tell people you’re away – obviously colleagues you work with on a daily basis will know you’re on holiday but will others, such as colleagues at other sites or clients? Tell them you are away and that may deter them from contacting you until you’re back!

To get yourself in the mood, why don’t you book a massage before you go away? That way, you know you’ll be in the right frame of mind when you go away and start that long-awaited holiday.

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