Restoration and wellbeing – why ‘breaks’ are important.

Breaks? Holidays? People often wonder why I need a holiday when I am now practically fully retired but I still find the concept of holiday invigorating and exciting. Holiday for me, used to be time for a recovery, time to get away from everyone and everything, I liked nothing more than to be in my caravan, to shut out the world and mainly entertain myself by walking, reading and disengaging from the world. As time went on during my working years, I realised that these were all healthy activities and certainly had an important place in my life, but if I was so drained by the time a holiday came around maybe my work/life was out of balance. I switched to placing greater focus on increased resilience whilst at work and for the focus of my holiday to be a time to use the charge from a battery that should already be fairly well topped up. Holidays for me then developed a different and more positive purpose. I wanted to have the energy and enthusiasm to use the opportunity to do something different to my usual routines.  

Walking remains a love of mine and most of my caravan holidays will have some sort of walking challenge although not all, as we may also be off with the fishing gear – which for me means time to get out running and get in lots of reading whilst my partner fishes, or off to sightsee a new part of the country or meet up with family/friends.  

Whilst I love nothing more than to be off in the van, walking boots packed and hoping for good weather, I remain open and eager to other options – a week traveling around northern Norway chasing the northern lights involved very little walking, many hours of being awake and a lot of discomfort being in a tiny minibus in close proximity to people I didn’t know – but it was fun, it was different and exhausting.  

For me holidays (whether at home or away) need purpose. Knowing the purpose and what I need, is key for me in making a successful holiday and then the holiday seldom disappoints – purposes vary, ranging from ‘just chill’ time to full on active, and any one holiday may have a range of activities but gone are the days when all holidays are just for recovery, time is too precious for that. I started by saying people ask me why I need a holiday – holidays give purpose, they provide opportunity and challenge, they change routines and offer a chance to develop a new perspective whether working or retired. 

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#holidays #rest #recuperation #restoration #contentment #wellbeing #breaks

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