A change is as good as a rest I’m told, but only if it involves a change of scenery, perhaps a sunny beach as opposed to my computer screen. I’m not work-shy, but I do know how important it is to take a break.
We all know that on a good day, work can be motivating, physically and mentally stimulating. Working hard to meet a target can be incredibly fulfilling, but it’s also important to reward yourself for a job well done.
Like many people in her position, Jill Poet, Managing Director of ORB, struggled to ‘find the time’ to take a break, but having just returned from a week away on the north coast of Cornwall she has been reminded of the value of taking time out. “I’ve come back feeling completely recharged and raring to go.”
Medical research has proved that we are more productive after taking a break. A study by Britain’s largest healthcare charity, Nuffield Health, which was published in January this year, found that the holiday feel good factor continues long after we have unpacked our suitcases.
The ability to recover from stress (known as the stress-resilience test) saw an average improvement of 29 per cent among holidaymakers. This compared to a 71 per cent fall in stress resilience scores among the non-holidaymakers. (The higher the stress resilience score the better the body is recovering from stress efficiently).
Taking regular holidays will not only help your body and mind to recover from the stresses of work, but also provide the foundations to enable you to cope better in the future. But don’t rush off to pack your overnight bag just yet; ideally you need to dig out that big suitcase from the attic.
While physical fatigue can generally be alleviated with a weekend’s rest and a couple of good night’s sleep, mental exhaustion requires a longer recovery time.
Finding time for a break will not only bring health benefits but may also boost your business. Time out provides valuable, uninterrupted space to think without the usual daily pressures. You are likely to return to work with renewed energy and enthusiasm and perhaps even a fresh approach to solve a problem or innovative new idea.
The most important thing is that you return with a restored ability to successfully manage your work/life balance.
Thomas Edison may have famously said: “There is no substitute for hard work,” but make sure you get the balance right, there’s also no substitute for a good break – mine’s booked for August and I already feel good just thinking about it.