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Wednesday, 13 July 2016

5 Top Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday

The summer holidays are just around the corner, and people all over the UK are looking forward to escaping normality for a short spell of time. We don’t generally have a lot of quality time off to enjoy with our friends and family, and we want to make all the right decisions to ensure an incredible holiday. However, all too often people forget to take into account what they, rather than what other people, want out of their own downtime.

Taking time for yourself is vital, especially given that we’re living in an increasingly stressed world. Young people are feeling all sorts of pressures and strains and even the older generation agree that life today is far more stressful today than it ever was before. Taking care of ourselves and prioritising our own mental health is critical to our overall happiness and success. But how can you ensure a relaxing, peaceful and rewarding holiday this summer?

Carefully select your holiday destination


We are lucky enough to live on an incredibly interesting and varied island. Where you go and what you do will depend entirely on what kind of person you are and where your interests lie. Many decide that a self-catered cottage holiday getaway is ideal for them, as they allow for a high degree of personalisation. An old English cottage is arguably the perfect place to relax, unwind and recuperate.

Why You Should Indulge With a Self-Catered Cottage Holiday

Pick the right travel companions


It is easy for holidays to start to feel like obligations. You might want to visit the coast, but you feel you should spend time with a friend who hates the feel of sand between her toes. You might want to go on a hiking holiday, but you’re feeling guilty that you haven’t visited your grandparents in a while. Separate yourself from this pressure and realise that this is your hard-earned downtime. You have the freedom to do with it as you wish.

Who do you really want to travel with? Are you eager for a family holiday? Do you want to take your pet along? Do you just want a few days all by yourself? There is no shame in making decisions to suit your own needs. You might feel altruistic by relenting and spending time with certain people, but chances are that you will simply get increasingly stressed and ultimately be a less-than-ideal holiday companion.


Consider leaving your electronics at home


When was the last time you went an entire day without checking your favourite social media site? In fact, when was the last time you went two hours without staring at some sort of screen? Although electronics have many obvious benefits, the reality is, our brains have not evolved to be compatible with technology and as such, overuse provides a whole host of negative side-effects.

We can’t avoid technology during our work lives, but for a few days out of the year, challenge yourself to keep away from your phone, laptop, tablet and TV. You’ll be surprised at how much better you feel, how the stress drains away and how your sleep improves. If nothing else, avoid workplace emails. Checking work emails means that you are not truly psychologically breaking from your workplace responsibilities.


Realise not everything will go to plan


With such limited downtime, you might be feeling the pressure to make your holiday perfect. You want everyone to have a great time, you want everything to go to plan and you want the holiday to be one to remember forever. That’s a lot to put on the shoulders of one person.
To save yourself stress and needless fretting, make peace with the fact that your holiday will not be perfect. Things will go wrong. You’re not in control of everything. The sooner you embrace this reality, the happier you will be and the better equipped you’ll be to take changes in your stride. Just because your holiday isn’t 100% reflective of what you envisioned, this doesn’t mean you won’t have a great time regardless.


Get plenty of sleep and rest


Sleep is integral to our health in a number of ways, but how many of us actually get our recommended eight hours a night? In our everyday lives, we have pressures and responsibilities that keep up from lie-ins or early nights. We have electronic screens casting blue light, which actively keep our brains working, and we use them late into the night.

If you’ve been noticing that you’re not getting good quality sleep, it is very likely to be the result of your daily and nightly routines. Thankfully, we have more time on holidays to cast off responsibility and catch up on our sleep. Let your natural sleeping patterns reset and don’t feel pressured to wake up early every morning to ‘make the most’ of your holiday. Sleeping isn’t a result of laziness; it is our bodies telling us that they’re desperate to repair and renew, making us better able to cope with stress during our waking hours.

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22 comments

  1. Good tips, careful planning and spending time with each other is key. Although like you said not everything will go to plan, sometimes those moments can be the best x

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  2. Some great tips - it's so important to make sure holidays are fun for everyone!

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  3. Great post, we were actually meant to be going to Cornwall for a cottage holiday this weekend, but due to my Daughter not being well enough we have had to cancel. Great tips here x

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  4. Holidays definitely shouldn't feel stressful! I love the idea of taking some time out from technology too :)

    Milly | Mini Adventures

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  5. Good tips could of done with this a few months back as had a nightmare of a time with the kids on Holiday.

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  6. Loads of useful tips and a great infographic. I need a holiday so bad x

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  7. These are great tips, I think carefully planning is essential to make the most out of a holiday. x

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  8. Holiday cottages are brilliant and usually pretty cost-effective in my experiences :)

    Jess xo | The Indigo Hours

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  9. Great tips, we usually get a cottage once a year and I must say it is nice when we have no wifi and we get a proper rest x

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  10. These are some great ideas. I definitely need a stress-free, social media-free vacation.

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  11. Choosing the location and amenities is always the most tricky thing as you want to make sure you have everything you might need x

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  12. My top tip: leave the kids and the husband home. ;) Haha, no seriously, I was introduced to the concept of separate holidays by a friend last year, and it's a game changer. Holidays together are important too, of course. Great tips in this post!

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  13. Lots of great tips! I always think that renting a self catered place makes a holiday more stress free.

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  14. These tips are great and I'm with you that a self catered place can be SO much easier. Eating out for every meal, particularly with kids, can be such a pain!

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  15. I agree with the 'Not everything will go to plan' part, that is so true x

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  16. Loads of good tips there! I'd also add that for money, prepaid cards are great - you can whittle away little bits of money to your holiday fund and then just grab the card & go!

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  17. Lots of great tips - I always try to leave my phone at home but it never works lol

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  18. Lovely tips. I left my iPad and laptop and even my kindle at home when I went for my last holiday. It felt good to just unwind.

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  19. I wish I read this post before packing to go to Portugal recently - now that was stressful!

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  20. very helpful tips! I always try to plan my holidays in advance because its so much easier :)
    I love the outdoors, so much to discover

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  21. Selecting the right travel companions is a great factor. Even you're in the least expected place, if the people you are with are fun, you will definitely enjoy the holiday! :)

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  22. Yay thanks for sharing such great tips. I think its all in the planning. I write so many lists before I go away! xxx

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I always love reading your thoughts and comments - Sam x

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