Woman sitting on a rock meditating

How often have you gone on holiday desperately in need of some relaxation time, only to feel incapable of unwinding?

Modern life is often hectic, and work obligations overwhelming, making it hard to set time aside for that much needed rest and recuperation. Surrounded by endless to-do lists and plagued with inbox alerts, you simply may not remember how to switch off and relax on holiday. In this blog we’ll teach you how to enjoy a truly tech-free retreat and recommend some relaxing things to do while you’re on holiday.

Don’t succumb to feelings of guilt

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reports that 12.5m working days were lost in the UK during 2016/17 due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety. Don’t allow yourself to feel guilty for taking a couple of weeks to recharge your batteries. You’ve earned the right to take time off and you’ll be far more useful to your team if you return from your holiday refreshed and revitalised. Don’t think of your holiday as a diversion that will solely benefit your work performance. Time out reflecting on your life as a whole and identifying ways that you can enhance all aspects of your existence is hugely positive.

Have a digital detox

Most of us will admit to an unhealthy attachment to our phones, while envying friends and colleagues who boast of technology free holidays where they are entirely off-grid. If it is unrealistic or even panic-inducing to contemplate an entirely unplugged holiday, limit notifications from social media apps or commit to putting your phone on airplane mode for a good chunk of the day.

Minimise checking emails

Your holiday enjoyment will almost certainly be hampered by checking work-related emails or taking calls. If you must check your inbox limit it to one or two specific times of day and only for a restricted period. Ask colleagues to state in the subject line if the email genuinely requires urgent attention and to include deadlines where possible. Instruct them to tell you off if you respond to non-essential missives at silly o’clock, or if they catch you taking a peek at your company’s task management app. If you’re being included in 100-strong discussions that don’t really require your input, ask to be removed and updated in a summary once you’re back.

Don’t feel the need to check in constantly

As a conscientious person it’s understandable that you want everything to go smoothly while you’re on holiday. Remember that delegation is healthy and shows a trust and confidence in your colleagues that they are bound to appreciate. Providing you brief all relevant parties well and supply them with comprehensive handover documents you should be able to relax in the knowledge that you’ll return to the well-oiled machine that you left.

Do something out of the ordinary

If relaxing with the enormous tome you have been eyeing up for month isn’t the gateway to restorative bliss that you anticipated, try something outside your comfort zone. Go on a snorkelling trip, hire a stand up paddleboard or seek out a random museum. If activities aren’t your thing, mess about with some watercolours or learn some facts about your holiday destination. If nothing else, the latter should put you in good stead for winning the pub quiz on your return…

Don’t fear doing nothing

Considering the pace of modern life, it is natural to feel discomfort when having nothing to do. Watching the tide advance and retreat is a truly poetic experience, as is witnessing a sunrise or sunset, gazing upon birds on the wing or people-watching in a vibrant market square. It might take a while to get in the mood for this level of inactivity, but give it time. If those options reek of zen overload, pop on a relaxing podcast or drift away to your favourite playlist while gently staring into the distance.

Don’t overdo the revelry

Getting plastered on delicious cocktails is great fun but two weeks of excruciating hangovers won’t leave you revitalised and you risk being plagued with guilt in the departures zone as your holiday draws to a close. Know your limits, pay attention to differences in local measures, drink plenty of water and keep in mind the benefits of being able to remember your well-earned holiday.

How do you make the most of your relaxation time? Get in touch on Facebook to share your favourite ways to switch off on holiday.