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Take Time Out for a Stress Free Holiday

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 7 Aug 2010 | comments*Discuss
Stress Free Health Anxiety Stressfree

Going on holiday can often cause of vicious circle of stress: you feel you need to go because you are stressed out, but the thought of actually booking, going and enjoying yourself causes even more stress. For some people the idea of a stressfree holiday seems almost laughable. If you fall into this category, don’t let your anxiety get the better of you. Holidays are good for your health, so schedule them in as you would any other medical check-up. However, if you really can’t shake your stress about a holiday then do as much preparation as possible before leaving home. Research your options, stick to your budget and even make a daily itinerary if that makes you feel in control. Delegate tasks at work so that you don’t have to worry about them and decide if you need to keep in touch with the office while away. When you do go on holiday though, you’ll need to remember that not everything works like clockwork. Accept that some frustration may be inevitable and decide early what your preferred stress management techniques will be. You may not be able to break free of all of your stress, but reducing your anxiety and allowing yourself time to rest and relax is a good start.

Research Your Options

Many people stress at the mere thought of a holiday because they put too much importance on making it the holiday of a lifetime. They find selecting a destination to be overwhelming and may suffer great anxiety from the fact that if they have never been someplace then they don’t know what to expect. To combat this, research your options early. Spend a little time each night narrowing down how far you’d like to travel, if there is a climate you prefer, if there are particular sites you’d like to see or activities you’d like to join and use these answers to guide your choice. Ask friends and family for recommendations or use online websites and travel agents to help you select the finer details like accommodation and transportation.

Stick to Your Budget

When you know what you’d like to do on holiday, find out how much money you have – or are willing – to spend on it. Financial concerns can be riddled with stress, so don’t add to yours by blowing too much money on your holiday. Decide on your budget and work around it. If you become anxious just thinking about spending money then review your facts and figures again until you feel calmer. If you can not reconcile spending money on a big holiday at the moment then embracing a “staycation” and holidaying at home is another option.

Make A Daily Itinerary

Whether you’re at home, abroad or somewhere in between, many people find that a good way to spend their holiday stressfree is to have a little bit of structure. Hours of unplanned time can often seem daunting to those who have been busy and under stress, so even doing something as simple as blocking out an afternoon for shopping and an evening for dancing can allow you to feel as though you have planned well and have activities to look forward to. However, limit your itineraries to broad strokes. Trying to plan out every minute of the day will likely lead to more frustration and stress as even the best schedules often go off-track.

Delegate Tasks at Work

Breaking free from the office can be hard, but recognise that taking a holiday is good for your mental health as well as your physical health. When you book your holidays let everyone you work with know, and plan early who will take over which parts of your job. Once you’ve delegated, forget it. You don’t need to obsess, just trust your colleagues to do what they’ve said they will. If they don’t, you’ll deal with that when you get back.

Decide If You Need to Stay in Touch

Some people legitimately need to be in contact with the office and if you truly feel that you do then set up a method of staying in touch. Bring a mobile phone or BlackBerry or check your email once a day. The key though is to select one method and check only once a day. If there is a real emergency then your work will contact you.

Select Appropriate Stress Management Techniques

Everyone has coping skills for stress, whether it be going window shopping, working out, cooking or taking a bath. Know what yours are before you go on holiday so that you can plan to incorporate these techniques into your daily schedule. Whether something stressful happens that day or not, lining up easy techniques will help keep you in a stressfree state of mind.

When you’ve planned and prepared as much as you can the only thing left to do is go on holiday and enjoy yourself. So what are you waiting for? Have fun!

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