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Summer holidays should be dedicated to relaxation, both physical and mental.  It’s the time of year we all long for; a time to escape the routine of day-to-day life at home and in the office.  It’s why we always dedicate so much effort and thought into planning and preparing for this holiday – because it’s the best way to get our well-deserved rest and relaxation and it’s why most of us spend months dreaming about the holiday to come – of lying on the beach, swimming in the sea or relaxing by a swimming pool.  The image is a vivid one and helps us face that dreary time before we can actually go away on our great summer holiday adventure.

However, once away, at the back of our mind is often found that unwelcome thought that sooner or later we will need to return to the reality of our lives – and this can sometimes even invade our thoughts when we are lying under a beach umbrella.

Here are 4 simple ways that will help you get the best out of your holiday and also help you face your return to the office, feeling refreshed and full of renewed enthusiasm:


1- Airplane mode

It’s true that separating us from our smartphones is extremely difficult and simply suggesting you turn it off can make you feel more anxious, than relaxed.  So why not set it to airplane mode – even when you’re not on an airplane.  All modern devices have this feature that allows us to access basic applications, such as the camera, yet disconnects us from anyone or anything trying to intrude on our holiday peace.  Full access can can also be reactivated at a moments’ notice, if required.  It’s a good compromise for those who cannot leave their phone in a bag or ignore it!  When you go to bed though, remember to turn it off and read a good book instead, as your phone’s blue light is counterproductive to relaxation and sleep.


2- Alarm clock – yes or no?

The thought of no longer having to set the alarm in the morning for 7am is one of the most appealing aspects of holiday time.  The idea of having a lie-in is extremely desirable.  However, you shouldn’t overdo the time you sleep in bed.  Too many hours and we completely reset our sleeping / waking cycle, which will then go into trauma mode when we return to our everyday lives and normal timeframes.  Do not underestimate the negative effect this can have on our bodies and minds.  We’re not suggesting you set an alarm every day of your holiday – only on the last few days, start re-introducing a morning alarm – a little bit earlier than the day before, so that your body gets used to returning to its usual waking time again, in a much gentler fashion.


3- Don’t be too idle…

As with your sleep cycle, don’t allow yourself to get too used to doing nothing all day!  It’s amazing how quickly the body gets used to lazing about and it’s a shock when you have to go back to your usual routine.  Sure, take time out to enjoy moments of absolute relaxation; to listen to the sound of crashing waves and feel the breeze on your skin; but also take time to be active.  Go for a walk, a swim or do some breathing exercises.  It’s important to keep your body healthy and active, so that you don’t shock it too much when you get back home and get back into your daily life.


4- From FOMO to JOMO!

It’s time to leave FOMO (fear of missing out) at home!  Don’t let concerns about missing out on things happening back at home, come on holiday with you!  Instead embrace JOMO (joy of missing out) and dedicate your holiday to pure physical and mental rest, by removing yourself from your normal worries and concerns. Just go with the flow.  Don’t organise anything, unless you feel like it and don’t get sucked into doing things, just so you can show off to everyone back home!  It’s your precious summer holiday – relax!


Never forget why holidays are so important.  They are a time to escape, relax and look after your own wellbeing, away from the complications of home and office.  It’s for this reason you need to give less importance to your mobile phone and not see your holiday simply as a chance to show off to your friends, colleagues and boss, and so never switching off!  Whilst remembering not to turn into a hibernating bear, enjoy your summer holiday for what it really is – a time for fun, laughter and enjoyment in the company of friends and family.  In short, a rare chance to relax and recharge your batteries, before facing the rigours of home and office life once more.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 738719