Giving Yourself A Break Is As Good As Working Harder

Don't be a mug - many of us don't take our full holiday entitlement but not taking time to relax will do you more harm in the long run
Nicola Forshaw is the owner of Mindfit, a health & wellbeing practice based in Liverpool city centre. Nicola is a Clinical Hypnotherapist, a member of the British Institute of Hypnotherapy and an accredited Mindfulness trainer. Nicola has taught Mindfulness to individuals, schools and companies across Liverpool and is passionate about improving wellbeing. Nicola@mind-fit.co.uk
Nicola Forshaw is the owner of Mindfit, a health & wellbeing practice based in Liverpool city centre. Nicola is a Clinical Hypnotherapist, a member of the British Institute of Hypnotherapy and an accredited Mindfulness trainer. Nicola has taught Mindfulness to individuals, schools and companies across Liverpool and is passionate about improving wellbeing.
Nicola@mind-fit.co.uk
SO it’s half way through the year and most of us are already feeling overloaded, stuck in rut and in need of a break. Some of us are already day-dreaming about our impending summer holiday and some of us, for one reason or another, have decided that we don’t need or can’t have a holiday or break this year. I made that very mistake between Spring 2014 and Autumn 2015 deciding that I was too busy (and too poor!) to have a proper holiday away and have since learned the error of my ways. I was left feeling worn out and resentful and I now truly understand the importance of taking a break and am lucky enough to be writing this month’s column whilst I’m away on a retreat. I’m staying at a place called Adhistana near Colwall, right in the heart of the English countryside, a place so beautiful and tranquil set amongst acres of rolling green hills, so much space, nature and stillness it feels like I’m on another planet! Five out of the seven nights are in silence, this may seem somewhat daunting, a bit boring, and unnecessary even, and anyone who knows me knows I love to talk! But it’s the silence and simply way of living that allows you to re-charge on all levels, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. A longer retreat can have its ups and downs but the overall indulgence of rest, wellbeing and freedom means that I come back home with a sense of newness, feeling nourished and ready to embrace life wholeheartedly. But it seems that many of us still undervalue the importance of taking a break. A study by Glassdoor found that the average British employee only uses 77% of their annual leave entitlement, effectively working for free for 6 days a year, worst still 44% of us are doing work whilst we are on holiday. The problem is even bigger in self-employment, (which is predicted to rise to 50% of the workforce by 2020) with 24% taking no annual holiday at all, and 45% of those that do continue to work whilst on holiday. So for those of you who have decided not to have a break this year think again, whether it’s a retreat, a holiday or even if it’s just a couple of days away from the norm, taking a break helps us to reset and renew. So be brave and get MORE retreat/holiday/nothing booked in the dairy. You deserve it! 5 reasons to Take A Break
  1. Having something to look forward to is key to happiness – a study by Applied Research in Quality Life journal has proven that when people have a holiday to look forward to they show the longest signs of increased happiness.
  1. It helps to us to avoid burnout by releasing the build-up of stress, re-setting the body and turn on the ‘soothing system’ helping to bring the body back to equilibrium.
  1. Being away from things we take for granted such as home, family, close friends makes us appreciate them more – like the first time you get back into your own bed and it’s like…’ah’
  1. It helps to broaden the mind – we sense and experience different sights, people, food and culture opening us up and connecting us to the wider world.
  1. A break can help you come up with new ideas or solve those tricky problems that you just couldn’t do whilst you’re chained to your desk or stuck in a familiar routine.
Our next 8 Week Mindfulness Course starts Tues 6th Sept, 9.30am-11.30am at The Old Hall, Cotton Exchange, Liverpool City Centre, cost is £200. To find out more about the course, including how to book, go to www.mind-fit.co.uk How to conquer a fear of flying
Picture by MarTePics
Picture by MarTePics
Talking of taking a break, last month I was at Liverpool John Lennon airport helping people to feel calm and relaxed about taking to the sky. 70% of passengers now suffer with some form of flight anxiety, I know I have some crazy thoughts running through my mind when I’m flying especially if we hit turbulence. We are now flying more than ever before and this trend is only set to increase as people and the world become more connected, so it’s useful to have a few techniques up your sleeve that you can practice if you are feeling a bit anxious or nervous about flying or indeed travelling: A quick exercise to help you stay calm & positive:
  1. Close your eyes and begin to use all of your senses to come into the present moment, sense your bum on the chair, feet on the floor, notice the sounds around.
  2. Become aware of your breath – allow the out breath to soften the body.
  3. Notice worrying thoughts – and gently let them go by staying with the breath.
  4. Say a Mantra “I am calm; I am safe; this will pass” repeat as often as you like.
  5. Picture yourself on your holiday, the sun, the beach, a drink in your hand, feel that sense of relaxation or enjoyment and allow it to wash over your whole body.
Happy Holidays!