Us Singaporeans love to work, and this toiling mentality has made our country very affluent indeed. But what’s the point in working if you never get to enjoy a little time off with loved ones? Easier said than done of course, but a little effort (or a little less effort) can open up a whole new world of…well, nothing in particular…
- Let Your Colleagues Run the Shop
It’s sometimes tough to accept that work won’t collapse without you being there. Let your colleagues take on your workload and try not to take any work related items with you on holiday. Delegate any decisions that you would ordinarily make.
- Tie Up All The Loose Ends
Make sure all the little jobs at home and at work are taken care of so you have as few problems to worry about as possible before and during your vacation. And don’t forget to take out travel insurance so that you and your loved ones can enjoy proper peace of mind whilst on holiday.
- Limit Access to Your Cell Phone and the Internet
It doesn’t seem possible to disconnect from the web or our cell phones these days, but if you look really hard, you just might find a button that says ‘OFF’ on your device. Why not press it and see what happens? If you’re holidaying with family or friends, you might even encourage them to switch theirs off too. You could tell work and relatives back home only to contact your accommodation in an emergency – that way you’re very unlikely to be disturbed by anyone.
- Decompress to De-stress
If your life tends to be dominated by work or a hectic family life, there’s no point going straight to the beach and lying on a sun lounger with a silly cocktail in your hand. Some people just aren’t wired that way, and at the very least need some time to get used to all this ‘not doing much’ business. Plan one or two activities for the first few days of your vacation – perhaps some sightseeing, or a challenging activity such as rock climbing or rafting – then gradually reduce the activities as the days pass. Entertain the idea that doing nothing is ok – and that you’ve earned a real break!
- Choose a Child Friendly Holiday if You Have Kids
Spending time with your children whilst on holiday is one of life’s great pleasures – but it’s a good idea to build some ‘me’ time into your break by booking a resort with a Kids Club or other amenity where your children can play safely. If you’re travelling with a partner, you could also take turns looking after the little ones so each of you is guaranteed some individual time.
- Stop Thinking
Thinking is the root of a lot of stress, so whilst you’re on holiday look for ways to decrease the thoughts and increase the relaxation. Many resorts and holiday destinations have yoga classes of various sorts. Why not try ‘hot yoga’ – a broad category of yogas which are undertaken in hot or humid conditions. And if you really want to a technique to quieten the mind, you could try a meditation class.
- Visit a Spa
Lounging around in saunas and steam rooms can be a wonderfully effective way to unwind – and if you top it off with a hot stone massage, there’ll be hardly a trace of tension in either your body or your mind.
Of course, you can’t spend all day doing hot yoga or sweating in a steam room – those travelling with you will think you’re neglecting them and, more importantly, you’ll look like a prune. So why not get the blood pumping and do some exercise? Running, swimming, hiking or even a gentle stroll can keep stress at bay – and are great activities to enjoy with loved ones. And if you do several hours of brisk exercise, you’ll be too tired to think about work or problems back home.
- Don’t Forget to Socialise
We humans are social animals, and social interaction addresses a primeval urge that sometimes falls to the wayside when we’re busy with work. Try going ‘old school’ with your family members or travelling companions; it’s amazing how a game of cards or a board game can help you ‘have fun’ – which is an old fashioned way of reducing stress.
- Eat well
The food you eat has a big effect on your stress levels. The good news is that sugary foods can actually reduce the production of stress-causing hormones – especially one called glucocorticoid. But that doesn’t mean you can give the veggies a miss; broccoli produces de-stressing folic acid, while a handful of nuts can up your magnesium levels – which help keep the stress chemical cortisol at bay. And for the brain, why not try some salmon – rich in omega-3 fatty acids – to help your neurons better deal with stress.
Have a Stress-free Trip!
With all these tips, de-stressing may seem like a job in itself, but it’s important to realise that your time off is very special and deserves some attention. And if you use your time wisely, you’ll be back at work with more energy and enthusiasm than ever!