Everyone loves a holiday. But we can easily find ourselves trying to justify why we should actually go on one – perhaps seeing it as a luxury or an unnecessary indulgence. Yet plenty of evidence tells us that taking a holiday is in fact a great idea, for many reasons. And here’s why.
It doesn’t always take much to make us feel under stress, especially now our lives are busier and we work longer. When we’re stressed our cortisol levels can spike, which in turn makes us more prone to illnesses such as colds and headaches, thanks to a weakened immune system. Taking a break gives us a chance to relax, eat and sleep properly, which is a crucial combination for getting our body and mind back into balance.
Boost Your Feel-Good Chemicals
Aside from helping to lower cortisol levels, going on holiday gives us the chance to step away from the things that put us under pressure, and instead spend more time doing things that we enjoy – purely for pleasure. This along with sleeping, eating and exercising will boost your brain’s release of serotonin (which helps to balance our mood) and dopamine – two of the so-called ‘happy hormones’.
Reconnect to Your Loved Ones
Whoever you choose to travel with, taking a holiday with someone is a great way to really reconnect and spend some quality time together. Being in a new and neutral environment, whilst sharing new experiences, brings people closer together. We are more likely to give others our full attention when our mind is calm, and be better listeners when we are not so tired or distracted. It can also be the perfect opportunity to open up a little more about things and maybe get to know one another again.
Try New Things
It’s easy to get caught up in a routine when we’re at home and bury down inside our comfort zone. Going on holiday offers up the chance to try new things, be it learning a language or extending our palette to the local cuisine. Once our guard lowers, our inhibitions slowly dissolve and we become more open to pushing our boundaries again.
Whether you struggle to find the time and motivation to exercise at home, or if you are a super-active human, a holiday means getting out into the open and exploring the surroundings in a fun and leisurely way. Hiking in the hills and mountains, swimming in the pool or the ocean, playing frisbee on the beach; skiing, jogging, surfing, cycling – it’s all there for the taking. For the ultimate break you could even find a yoga retreat or a specialist cycling holiday.