Why holidays matter

 In Gill's Blog

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Why Holidays matter

It’s that time of year folks when some get away and others stay and have to cover the workload in the hope and, I trust, expectation of reciprocation. We all need to unwind and relax and that isn’t easy if your office is in your home or at the end of a stressful commute.

‘A change is as good as a rest’ so the cliché goes but actually is it really? Sometimes only a rest will do. After a busy time (and the run up to a holiday is always busy) rest allows the heart and mind to let go of tension and lower the stress built up in the body – avoiding that heart attack sounds like a good idea!

There is a lot of commentary on whether life’s stresses and strains are more likely to affect memory and its loss and so lead to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The brain is a very complex tool and I am not a neuroscientist but there does seem to be a growing body of opinion that relaxing does help to boost memory by giving the brain some relief from its daily burden of dealing with task, after task, after task.

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In a blog last year I suggested that to function at our best at work and in life we need to build some valuable energy and muscle to take us through with stamina and resilience the months ahead. I argued that this is about finding mental strength. It is about having emotional intelligence. It is about managing our energy. It is about physical fitness.

A holiday provides the opportunity to develop all of these things. Letting go of tasks which consume our everyday brain; providing time for that daily swim or walk; providing the opportunity to try something different such as speaking a foreign language or learning to do a new skill such as a cookery course, a sport or play an instrument. Time away from the computer and in a different environment will hopefully re-charge the batteries so we can meet the next batch of decision-making with better focus and more balance.

I am taking a risk, a step into the unknown, in the hope that I can reset my body with a stay in a clinic. Sometimes you have ‘to boldly go’ in a different direction to avoid doing the same things over and over again and wonder why you have the same outcome.

For light relief on holiday I find reading anything serious is too challenging so I read magazines and listen to music –just run of the mill soft rock.

My choice of magazines include:Gill Steel Blog pref

  • The Week – which I read avidly at the weekends to catch up on the news from all sources
  • Country Life – I live in a village so it is interesting to read about some of the challenges of farmers and farming whilst ogling the stupendous properties which only lottery millionaires could afford
  • Good Housekeeping – for the stories of resilience, gossip, the practical tips, books and fashion ideas
  • Free From Heaven – for recipes and tips about nutrition and help with gluten and dairy free diets
  • Conde Nast Traveller – to see where the jet set go and wear and to drool over the pictures and places to add to my bucket list

What are your favourite magazines? I would love to know – send us your views

I have just downloaded a few new albums to my collection to listen to on my trip:

  • Human – Rag n’ Bone Man
  • ÷ Ed Sheeran
  • Lindsey Buckingham + Christine McVie

What do you like to listen to? send us your views

Whatever makes your holiday a success this year I wish you bucket loads of it – have fun!


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